I’ve made meatballs of all kinds, hundreds of dumplings, meatballs that used to be dumplings, as well as headcheese, but somehow I had never thought to make meatloaf, which is a less fussy relative of all of these.
And I love meatloaf — especially in a sandwich (and especially the one at Greene Grape Provisions in Fort Greene) — so it seemed necessary to address this gap in my repertoire.
With some instruction over the phone from Alex’s mom, and ignoring the recipes I found on the internet, I turned out this first iteration using only ground pork, caramelized onions and garlic, oatmeal, chives and dill, and then, as usual, not being able to leave well enough alone, I added a few anchovies and dry mustard.
I also wanted this to have a fairly tight loaf shape, and Alex reported that Alton Brown makes his without a loaf pan, which sounded like a good idea to me, so I mixed vigorously, employing what I’ve been told is a Cantonese dumpling-making method, forming my hand into a claw and whipping the mixture around until it became fairly paste-like and uniform. It was easy to shape into a loaf and in baking, very little moisture seeped out. The resulting meatloaf had a very dense crumb and was easy to slice. Also: no unmolding necessary!
Unorthodox in so many ways, but definitely worth repeating. We liked this.
So did Pinky.
For the sandwich, Alex recommends slathering Marty’s potato bread (toasted of course) with mayonnaise and placing raw green pepper strips between the bread and meatloaf. Trust me, he knows what he’s talking about.