On a cold weekend there isn’t much that I enjoy more than cooking up some ‘comfort food’ to warm me up inside. What exactly is comfort food you may be asking if you have never heard this term before. For most it’s a dish you eat that make you feel nostalgic or sentimental, typically for a period of time in your youth when food was prepared for you by your mother. That first bite takes you right back to how you were feeling at a certain point in your life when everything was provided for you.
The first use of the term ‘comfort food’ was in a 1966 newspaper stating: “Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called ‘comfort food’—food associated with the security of childhood, like mother’s poached egg or famous chicken soup.” What is often overlooked when people describe these dishes is that they are typically high in carbohydrate levels but are simple to make. What follows is top of my list for comfort foods, meatloaf. While not exactly high in carbs, when you serve with buttery mashed potatoes, it gets close. Even though it does have a lot of ingredients it’s quite easy to make as long as you don’t mind getting your hands messy.
- 500 g ground pork/beef mix. (All beef is preferable but I am not too keen on the taste of Hungarian beef) Ground turkey may be substituted.
- 1 medium onion – minced or grated
- 15 g garlic powder
- 15 g ground cumin
- 15 g oregano
- 1 sachet of Lipton onion soup mix (if you can find it)
- 5 g salt
- 1 spoonful of cumin seeds
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1 large cup of oats
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 spoonful Worcestershire sauce (don’t use Heintz, it’s awful)
- 250 g of cheddar cheese (trappista also works)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
- Combine everything except the cheese and half the ketchup in a large bowl.
- Layer half the mixture in a loaf pan.
- Cut cheese and place running down the the middle of the loaf so is surrounded by meat mixture.
- Cover with remaining meat and dome the top.
- Top with remain ketchup and cover with foil.
- Bake 40 min. Uncover, drain of excess fat, and cook addition 30 min.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 10 min.
That’s it. To make it real comfort food for me I would have to have it with a big helping of mashed potatoes and green peas which I would mix together. Even today, this is one of my favorite meals. I hope you enjoy.
Did you know?
- Meatloaf has a long history. Ancient Romans made theirs with wine-soaked bread, spices, and pinenuts, with other Medieval Europeans served it mixed with with fruit, nuts and seasonings.
- During the Great Depression families would ‘stretch’ their meal by adding other fillers to the mix. Cheap oats (found in this recipe), breadcrumbs, and white rice were often used to bulk up the loaf when meat was either too expensive or hard to find.
- Meat Loaf’s most popular album was entitled “Bat out of Hell” which was released in 1977. It sold 43 million copies worldwide.
- Many cultures, like German, Hungarian, Greek, Italian, and Filipino, often burry hard boiled eggs within dish…I prefer cheese.
- Meatloaf is great the next day reheated, sliced, and eaten as a sandwich.