The Yomiuri ShimbunMeat loaf
In this column, chefs and cooking experts share recipes that are easy to prepare at home.
In Japan, meat loaf is sometimes presented as a year-end gift. If you serve a meat loaf that you have made yourself, you’ll have even more to talk about at the dinner table.
In today’s article, cooking instructor Hatsue Shigenobu introduces a meat loaf epitomizing the cheerful end-of-year mood with the colors and patterns it displays when sliced.
Minced pork and beef, with chopped onion and broccoli, go into a pound cake tin with bell peppers and quail eggs, before being baked in the oven. It’s not very complicated to make. Just follow a few points carefully to make it taste even better.
The onions are sliced finely, stir-fried and then cooled. “If you mix them with the mince while they are still hot, the fat seeps out of the meat and the mixture becomes mushy,” Shigenobu said.
It’s best to cut the broccoli into 7-8 millimeter pieces. If the broccoli pieces are too large, the cooked meat loaf will be more difficult to slice.
Combine the minced meat with the broccoli, beaten egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg and other ingredients, and knead together by hand until it has the texture of hamburg steak.
Put part of the mixture in the cake tin, then place lines of bell pepper and quail eggs, before adding more mixture on top, continuing to form layers.
It’s a good idea to make a little dent in the central part of the loaf, because the middle heats more slowly.
“Bake it for about 30 minutes until the surface becomes brown. When you stick a bamboo skewer in it and see clear juice seeping out, the whole of the inside is sufficiently cooked. If you worry that the surface may become charred in the oven, cover it with aluminum foil,” Shigenobu said.
Cool the meat loaf for a while before slicing it, because it’s hard to cut when it is very hot. Clean your kitchen knife with a cloth each time you slice it, and it will be easier to cut.
The cut cross sections reveal the bright red, yellow and white colors of the peppers and eggs. The deep green pieces of broccoli and the shape of the eggs form cute patterns.
The peppers and broccoli also provide a chunky texture, and plenty of breadcrumbs ensure the meat loaf is soft.
Serve with a sauce containing a little spicy mustard. People love to get together to eat this dish with wine and bread.
Versatility of cake tins
As well as being useful to make meatloaf, cake tins for pound cakes, round cakes and puddings can also be used to make oshi-zushi pressed sushi.
Put vinegar rice and fillings such as asparagus, shrimp and okra in a pound cake tin, layering one on top of another, and you’ll create pressed sushi with beautiful cross sections.
When using a round cake tin to make pressed sushi in the same way, divide into fan-shaped pieces when you serve the dish, like shortcake.
Eating pressed sushi made in a pudding cup with a spoon is another option.
Recipe for meat loaf
Ingredients (1 loaf):
Use a pound cake tin 20 centimeters long, 8 centimeters wide and 6 centimeters high
500 grams minced pork and beef
½ red and yellow pepper each
100 grams broccoli
8-10 boiled quail eggs
1 chicken egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ tsp salt
Pinch of nutmeg, pepper
4 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp medium-concentrate Japanese Worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1. Chop onions finely. Fry with ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until softened, then cool. Slice bell peppers lengthwise into 5-millimeter wide strips. Cut broccoli into 7- to 8-millimeter pieces.
2. Put minced pork and beef in a bowl with the onion, crack the chicken egg into it, add breadcrumbs, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Mix and knead. Add broccoli and knead again.
3. Brush the inside of the cake tin with vegetable oil. First, put in one-third of the meat mixture. Then place half the bell pepper pieces and quail eggs on top. Next, layer with another third of the mixture, then place the remaining pepper and quail eggs on top, and finish off with the last of the mixture.
4. Bake in the oven at 200 C for 30-35 minutes. When the surface is browned, take it out of the oven and cool until warm.
5. Remove the loaf from the tin, cut into easy-to-eat slices, and serve on a plate. Mix the sauce ingredients and serve in a bowl beside the meat loaf.
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