Sunday, August 15, 2010


MEATLOAF - a moist, meaty recipe for kids.

"Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf." For movie buffs, that meatloaf quote is courtesy of Randy, the little brother in "A Christmas Story". The quote is followed by, some of the all time funniest attempts by 2 quintessential mid-century parents to "encourage" their child to eat. I do hope your kids will open up for at least one bite of this moist, meaty meatloaf. I assure you, they will love it!

Personally, I am not a fan of the sweet, acidic Ketchup glaze atop the traditional meatloaf. I think it may also be offensive to younger palates that have not yet acquired our liking for the sweet/sour combination. My meatloaf recipe does have a few surprise ingredients, but overall, I have tried to limit the amount of interfering or overpowering flavors.

My goal with this Meatloaf recipe was to accent the natural flavor of the lean, organic, grass-fed, humanly raised, environmentally sustainable ground beef that I am lucky enough to have access to though my local Whole Foods Market. Yeah, it's healthier and "Green" but most importantly it's downright TASTY! The supplier is White Oak Pastures, a family owned southern farm that is doing an absolutely superior job of conscientiously raising cattle.

My 3 year old boy assisted me with this recipe today. Like his Papa, he is a Meat & Potatoes Man in training. As always, I find that he much more apt to try (at least one bite) of what's on his plate if he feels a part of the cooking process.

2 lbs. Lean Ground Beef
1/2 Onion, finely diced
2 Celery Stalks, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Hummus
2 Rye Wasa Crackers (finely "crumbled")
2 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Pepper to Taste

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 350º F

My young chef begins the preparations by placing 2 Wasa Crackers in a Ziplock bag. Using a wooden rolling pin, he then "crumbles" the crackers into a fine grind. Meanwhile, I dice the onion and celery and saute them in the olive oil over medium heat until transparent (about 8 minutes). Then set aside to cool.

I then give my young chef a large mixing bowl and allow him to add his ground crackers and the spice ingredients ( 1/2 tsp Cumin, 1/2 tsp Coriander, 1/4 tsp Salt). Using a pepper mill, my chef adds some fresh ground black peppercorns to the bowl. With a wooden spoon, he stirs the Hummus and Worcestershire Sauce into the mixture.

The Garlic Press is a favorite kitchen utensil of my 3 year-old boy, an apparatus with which to exert his strength. He triumphantly minces 2 garlic cloves into the bowl.

Though my little chef would love to get his hands on the delicate shell of the egg and gingerly knock it against the edge of the counter, as he has seen me do countless time before, I know where the egg will end up. Instead, I place the egg in the palm of my hand and give him a spoon to "tap" and crack the egg with. In this manner, one large egg is added then stirred into the mixture.

I then add the cooled onions and celery along with the ground beef and mix by hand. I then transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2-lb. loaf pan and, again using my hands, shape the mixture into an oblong loaf.

Bake (350º F) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat loaf registers 165ºF, about 1 1/2 hours.

If you have any great kid's recipes, we'd love to hear you at Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you again soon at The Chef's Emporium !

I do love the nostalgia of this picture perfect Meatloaf dish. Though I don't know which is more politically incorrect these days, the Pipe in the Papa Duck's Mouth or the Golden Swimming Pool of Melted Butter in the Mash Potatoes! Well, at least the Meatloaf has entered the 21st century with ingredients I'm proud to feed to my family. Enjoy!