Monday, December 28, 2015

American Meatloaf

American Meatloaf
Meatloaf one would think is very American, its origins actually in a German colonial dish of minced pork mixed with cornmeal. Italians cook it a lot as well and in this rendition the cultures blend deliciously with the addition of a pestata to an American classic. Not only does it taste delicious but it is foolproof, moist every time. The leftovers reheat as if just cooked and Italians love to serve it with roasted potato wedges.

2 cups country crusty bread cubes
1 cup milk
2 medium carrots, cut in cubes
2 medium celery, cut in chunks
1 medium onion, cut in chunks
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 ½  pounds ground pork
1 bunch scallions, cut in slices
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Granna or Grana Padano
1 cup marinara sauce or pureed canned tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put bread cubes in a medium bowl and pour the milk over. Let soak until bread is soft. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the carrot, celery and onion and pulse to make a fine-textured paste or pestata.

When the bread is soft, squeeze out excess milk and put bread in a large mixing bowl. Add pestata, ground meats, scallions, grated cheese, marinara sauce, parsley, salt and oregano. Mix well with your hands to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. Oil a 10-by-15 Pyrex (or other) baking dish with the olive oil. Form meat mixture into a loaf in the oiled pan.

Baked until browned and cooked through (the center of the meatloaf should read 165 degrees F in an instant read thermometer), about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

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