Monday, February 10, 2014

Carnage du Jour - 09 February 2014

It all started with a text from my flavour consultant, Christian.
"Could you make a Reuben meatloaf?"
That was quickly followed by another.
"Thinking corned beef for the meat, and rye bread instead of the oatmeal or maybe with it. Put swiss cheese on the top to finish it at the end of cooking and sauerkraut."
I replied that I thought that was a great idea, to which he replied that he agreed, and he really wanted to eat it.
Well, that initial "could you make?" query meant that the gauntlet oven mitt had been thrown down, and the challenge was now accepted.

Off to the market to get a corned beef brisket, having first borrowed an electric meat grinder. (No, the market wouldn't grind it for me until closing time, as the flavoured meat would mess up the grinder until it was fully cleaned; I asked to be sure.)
My rye bread was actually a multi-grain bread as it turned out, so along with four toasted and deconstructed slices, I added a fair amount of caraway seeds to the blender, turning out a nice couple cups of very rye-smelling bread crumbs.
I estimated the point matching 2 pounds of very chilled meat (reserving the last 1.4 for later cooking and sandwiching), and cubed it to fit in the grinder.
It was harder to grind than I anticipated, but it definitely smelled great, and came out in just the right consistency for loaf-age.

I slightly modified my normal recipe; bread crumbs never touch my loaf, I'm an oatmeal kind of guy, but there were still two eggs, a cup of tomato product (plain diced tomatoes), and salt and pepper. The mixture was much wetter than expected, so I added about half a cup of oatmeal to finish the texture.

Next I formed the bottom half (2/3) of the loaf, hollowing out the middle, which was then filled with a mixture of Jarlsberg cheese and sauerkraut. The remaining 1/3 of the meat was then placed on top and the edges sealed. Now it was down to the baking.

About 45-50 minutes at 350F was all it took, and I must have done a good job of sealing the loaf, as there was very little juice in the baking sheet - but what there was was delicious.

We let the loaf rest a bit before cutting into it, and we were far from disappointed. This was without a doubt one of the best meatloaves I've ever made.

Highly recommended, and definitely to be repeated.