Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ham is used instead of ground beef
in twist on the ol' meatloaf

It’s a bit of a holy grail of cooking: How to take the ubiquitous, easy-to-make comfort food of meatloaf and make it into something refreshing and new.
     I’m always on the lookout for new twists on the ol’ meatloaf, and found it recently in an issue of Saveur magazine.
     The recipe’s name isn’t different or exciting – Ham Loaf (click for the recipe) – but the result is. However, the recipe's result is not so much different from regular meatloaf that you will disturb the meat-and-potatoes eater in your family when you serve it to him or her.
    The major difference between this recipe and meat loaf is, of, course, that ham is used as opposed to ground beef.
    Ground allspice, ginger and cloves are used in the recipe for flavour. It sounds unusual, but after one bite you’ll know it was meant to be.
    Some of the usual suspects included in most meatloaf recipes are here, though. A glaze is made from mustard, dark brown sugar and apple cider vinegar and is drizzled on the loaf before and after baking.
    The recipe says to start with finely-chopped cured ham. Knowing I would not have the patience to finely chop ham, I threw a few hunks of it in the food processor and let it do the work.
    The chopped ham, breadcrumbs, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, ground sage, curry powder (I used mild), allspice, ginger, lightly-beaten eggs, minced yellow onion, and salt and pepper are mixed together. The meat mixture is transferred to a parchment paper-lined loaf pan.
    More Dijon mustard, dark brown sugar and apple cider vinegar (sometimes called cider vinegar) are heated in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
    Half of the resulting glaze is poured over the ham loaf, and the loaf is cooked.
    The loaf is left to cool for 10 minutes, then is removed from the pan. The remaining glaze is drizzled over it before serving.

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