Meatloaf- it doesnt have to suck

-I know, I know, your mother made meat loaf on Wednesdays and it was covered in gloppy
ketchup and you did not learn to cook so that you could go make loaves of meat. Got it.
However, the simple fact remains, as my grandfather used to say when I was in chef’s school and
throwing balsamic reduction and tarragon in everything, “Honey, a man likes a tune he can
whistle.” So true, Poppa. Therefore, I present to you a flavorful, juicy meat loaf. Magnificent
alongside scalloped potatoes. Even better in a sandwich. (Recipe in index)
I let it get to just warm before slicing thickly and serving atop white sandwich bread with
mustard and white cheddar. I can’t even whistle (I can’t—not a single note—so I gave up my
goal of being a Native American tracker early in life) and I know this is a lunch to sustain
anyone—whether they are roofing or getting ready for a parent-teacher conference. Make it
today. It’s delicious!
To be clear, I am not roofing. I tried to put the stickers in the right spots on my Barbie
townhouse when I was eleven and learned right then that construction was not for me. Unlike
me, Killian can do anything he decides to do. It’s one of the many irresistible things about him.

Meatloaf:
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
3//4 cup cracker crumbs from saltines—finely ground
1 large onion finely diced-sautéed for about ten minutes over very low heat—just until
softened. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic—cooked with the onion. Allow to cool a bit off of the
heat.
1TBL prepared horseradish (not the creamy mayo type stuff)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper
For glaze:
1 TBL horseradish
1 TBL brown sugar
4 TBL ketchup- don’t need to measure- just squirt, stir, and eyeball.
Pour the milk over the cracker crumbs—once they are soaked through, combine all
remaining meat loaf ingredients. Spray a 10” Bundt pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl,
combine 1 TBL horseradish, 1 TBL brown sugar and 4 TBL ketchup. Spoon into the bottom of
your Bundt pan and lightly spread it around. Press the meat mixture into the pan and then place
the Bundt pan into a large roasting pan. While the oven preheats to 350 degrees, bring the kettle
to the boil. Pour boiling water around the Bundt pan and carefully hoist the whole shebang into
the oven. Forty minutes later, remove from its sauna and allow to cool in pan for at least ten
minutes. Using oven mitts that you have never liked anyway, lay a plate a top the meatloaf and
flip it over—gingerly loosen the pan and allow the glaze that you very cleverly put in the bottom
of the pan to ooze down over your crown of meatiness. Be careful with this—there might be
grease that oozes out of the upended Bundt pan and you don’t want to get burned.

Venison Roast with German Bread Dumplings

  We hunt.  Sorry about that- but we do.Well, Killian does, he says he’ll trust me with a rifle when I can manage a stick shift- which means I wont be hunting anytime soon.

VENISON ROAST with German bread dumplings

 

1 hind leg of venison, shank removed—find a hunter or a butcher who offers game. Ask for the back leg of a young animal—do anything necessary to obtain this… sexual favors, state secrets, your first born

Salt 6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thick slivers

1/4 cup olive oil

About 1 cup of red wine, stock or water

2 tablespoons minced sage

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

 

German BREAD DUMPLINGS (if you are short for time, spaetzle would be a great alternative)

8 to 10 slices of stale bread –not wonder bread. You want a solid loaf with a good crumb

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups tepid milk (not skim)

3 slices bacon

1/4 cup minced onion or shallot

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

2 eggs, lightly beaten

 

Let the meat sit on a cutting board for 30 minutes before proceeding (more or less). After 30 minutes have elapsed, preheat the oven to 450°F. Mince the garlic into a paste with the salt and rub all over the meat, and then massage the oil all over it. Set the leg of venison on a rack in a roasting pan and pour enough wine, stock or water into the bottom of the roasting pan to just moisten the bottom—don’t cover the bottom or the meat will steam. You just want to limit the amount of smoke and prevent the fond from scorching. Put the venison in the oven and roast until it is nicely browned, but no more than 20 to 25 minutes. (Watch this- venison is lean and can quickly turn to shoe leather)

Take the venison out of the oven and drop the temperature to 350°F. Carefully sprinkle the minced sage and black pepper all over the roast.

Meanwhile—After you take the venison out of the fridge, crumble the stale bread and put it into a bowl. Pour the lukewarm milk over the bread and let it stand while you’re getting the venison ready to roast. If it looks like there is not enough milk, add a little water.

Fry the bacon in a small skillet and remove when crispy. Chop it fine. Sauté the onion in the bacon fat until it’s nice and brown. Mix the bacon and onion in a small bowl and allow to cool. Once it’s cool, mix in the parsley and marjoram.

When the venison goes into the oven, set a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. Once it boils, drop the heat to a simmer.

If there is any milk still in the bread bowl, pour it off. Mix the bacon, onions, parsley and marjoram in with the bread. Squish it all through your fingers. Wait until the venison is resting to cook the dumplings.

While the meat rests, add the beaten eggs and mix well to combine. If the batter is too wet to form dumplings, add breadcrumbs a tablespoon at a time until you can roll the batter into a ball with your hands. Make sure your hands are wet when you do this or the batter will stick all over them. Gently lower each dumpling into the simmering water. Cover the pot. Once they float back to the surface, let them cook for another minute or two, then remove with a slotted spoon. Put them into the roasting pan you cooked the roast in. Drizzle with melted butter and toss on breadcrumbs. Slide under the broiler until you have crispy brown tops. Serve with the meat.