In my page, ‘a thing or two’ I mentioned that my mother never used an oven. She made her very popular meatloaf in a pot. Her meatloaf was very juicy and she would surprise us with different fillings she put inside, such as boiled eggs, raisins, or vegetables which add color accents. She never used bread crumbs or grated fillers as I have here with carrots and celery. Although unsure of her exact recipe, I created my own “Mom-Inspired Recipe”.
1½ lbs lean, ground beef
½ med. onion (7 oz/200 gr), grated with liquid squeezed out
1 small carrot
1 celery stalk
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp raisins
3 Tbsp caramelized onion
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 ~ 1½ cups hot water
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
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For the sauce:
2 Tbsp ketchup
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- In a food processor, first finely grate carrots and celery. Empty it in a medium bowl.
- In the food processor, grate the onion, squeeze out as much liquid as possible, spoon out the pulp and add to grated carrot and celery. (To mold the meat and be able to lift it, the mixture cannot be too soft).
- Add ground beef, 2 Tbsp of ketchup, lemon juice, turmeric, salt, black pepper, eggs and knead until all ingredients are mixed.
- Spread 18” (45cm) sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Put the meat mixture on the plastic wrap.
- Shape the meat to flat 6”sq (15cm sq). Spread the caramelized onion and raisins on a half side of the meat. Lifting short side of the plastic wrap, roll the meat and fold over the caramelized onion and raisins. Alternatively using the other end of the plastic as well, rolling back and forth, form a loaf.
- In a large/wide pot, add the oil and let it heat on medium-low.
- Place the loaf in the middle of the pot and put the lid on. As soon as the meat starts sweating, add 1 cup hot water and bay leaf. Let it simmer for first 30 minutes.
- At 30 min point, if the loaf looks firm enough, using two spatulas, carefully, as if rolling the meat from one spatula to the other, turn over the loaf. Use an ami-shakushi to skim foam off the liquid. If necessary, add some hot water. Put the lid back on and simmer for 30 more minutes.
- Transfer the loaf to the serving dish and strain the liquid into a small bowl. (Should be at least ½ cup)
- In the liquid, add 2 Tbsp of ketchup and ½ tsp of Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and pour over the loaf. (Or make a sauce by adjusting the ratio to your liking.)
- Garnish with chopped parsley.