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Meatloaf with Ginger Anise Seed Ketchup

Meatloaf Ginger Anise Seed Katchup

It is time to come clean with you; I love meatloaf. I don’t really get why many people tend to think of eating it as a chore or something to be gotten though, when it is really something to be cherished and savored. But, that being said I have also hidden my love from you, a little embarrassed by my love of something so seemingly boring.

Every time I make my slightly unique style of meatloaf, Phil encourages me to share it with you, and I finally decided he was right. In recent years books such as “Terrine” by Stephane Reynaud have shone a light on the rustic art of pate’s and terrines in many forms.  I don’t like to dress my loaf up in bacon clothing and while pork tends to be the hot ingredient these days, I have chosen to make my meatloaf terrine out of beef. I grew up eating beef from my grandfather’s cattle farm, so pork was a rare guest on our table.  To me, meatloaf isn’t a meatloaf unless it is made with beef. But, something I learned growing up on the finest beef is that it is vitally important to pay attention to the quality.

Now, I know not everyone has the time to grind your own meat. If that is the case, buy ground beef from a reputable butcher or have them grind your choice of cut for you. When it comes to choosing a cut, a lesser one is fine as long as it has plenty of fat. I used to use the leanest beef I could find for this, but it didn’t wow me until I decided to throw caution to the wind.

I used to make this dish by doctoring ketchup, but decided that if I really wanted to do meatloaf justice that I had to make my own.  As for the seasonings anise and ginger, bring out everything that is good in any ketchup. I used anise seed instead of star anise because the flavor of the seed really compliments the ketchup and acts as a bridge for the ginger. It is as if they were made for one another and they compliment the beef beautifully. I opted not to use sugar like most recipes, in favor on using dried currants as a sweetener instead and I believe the dish benefits from that choice. I really hate using sugar when there is an alternative. In the loaf itself I used old fashioned rolled oats, which I think is very important. The oats plump beautifully in the juices while the loaf is cooking, making it not only delicious, but visually pleasing.

I hope you enjoy my meatloaf. Hopefully this recipe will help meatloaf earn the respect it deserves.

Ginger Anise Seed Ketchup

Olive Oil

2 Yellow Onions, sliced thin

4 Garlic Cloves, sliced

2 cups Water, warm

1 cup Black Currants

6 oz. Tomato paste + a little extra if you like

3-4 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce

1/2- 1 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Sea Salt, to taste

1 Whole Clove, ground in the mortar and pestle

1 1/2 tsp Anise Seed, ground in your mortar and pestle

1 inch Fresh Ginger, skin scraped off and grated

Soak the currants in the water for several hours.

Caramelize the onions and garlic in a medium sized pot with a little olive oil over medium to medium low heat. Add in the soaked currants as well as the soaking water and tomato paste. Simmer until the currants and onions have broken down quite a bit and puree. Strain through a sieve and return to the stove. Add in the  pepper, salt, clove, anise and ginger and simmer over low heat, checking for seasoning. Set aside while you prepare the meatloaf.

The Meat Loaf

2 lbs Fatty Beef, ground to manufacturer’s instructions or pre-ground from your butcher

2 cups Rolled Oats

1 Onion, sliced thin and caramelized

2 Eggs*

2-3 TBS Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp, Anise Seed, Ground in a mortar and pestle

1-2 tsps Freshly Ground Pepper

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 1/2 cups Ginger Anise Seed Ketchup + more for on the top

Preheat your oven to 350F

In a large bowl combine your ingredients and mix together very well using your hands. Remove to your chosen baking dish, patting down to smooth and smother the top with the Ginger Anise Seed Ketchup. Bake for 45 to an hour minutes or so, you’ll be able to tell the doneness from the way it pulls away from the sides of the pan and has a light crispness at the edges.

* I bought the eggs  from a local organic farm, and I have to tell you that the difference is amazing! The yolks and huge and a bold yellow. I made gougeres with them the other evening and they turned out bright yellow as if I’d used food coloring.

17 comments to Meatloaf with Ginger Anise Seed Ketchup

  • Griffin Griffin

    Ahem, well so long as you can make it slowly and not rush it er, like a bat outta hell…. sorry, couldn’t resist!!

    Nothing wrong with meatloaf/terrines/pates. I love pork, but with a mild heart condition I tend more to favour chicken. Beef I’m wary of after the Mad Cow problems of years ago. Personally I always thought Mad Cow referred to Thatcher, but wot do I know, eh?!

  • Griffin, I’m glad someone did it. I was resisting the urge the whole time. It was especially difficult considering the recent renaissance he seems to be experiencing.

    I’ve never been fussed about mad cow, with a dad in the biz and a grandfather who provided all of our meat, I guess things were a little different for me. Also, cows with the disease are fed horrible things and most often live in mucky conditions, it can be avoided. Anyway, it’s all the more reason to find out where your food comes from I guess.

    I make a chicken meatloaf with grated zucchini, sundried tomatoes and feta that is quite delicious. I don’t really have a recipe, just mix it up with oats, a splash of Worcestershire, onion, garlic a bit of seasoning and bake. It’s quite good as long as the Worcestershire is kept to minimum.

  • rainey rainey

    I haven’t made meatloaf in ages even tho I agree with you that it’s really much greater than the sum of the parts. But I think I’ll be correcting that error this weekend.

    Your ketchup sounds very interesting indeed.

    Griffin- As always you are a joy! I had to short thru the Maggie Thatcher comment.

    I have been doing a lot of appliqué lately and Jane Austin and Shakespeare go wonderfully to set the mood. I put on JA & S movies and wish I had you with me for the commentary.

  • rainey rainey

    PS I like a freeform loaf. I like that the excess fat is able to escape and I like the browning over more of the surface. I start mine out in a loaf pan until it has firmed up some and then turn it out into a roasting pan and lather on the glaze so it can caramelize.

  • Kim Kim

    I, too, love a good meatloaf! My grandmother used to make one that was AMAZING. Everyone has looked through her recipes to find it, but it must have been perfected over a number of years and committed to memory. Delicious!

    I am salivating over this recipe.

  • grinding your own beef and making ketchup from scratch! fantastic! You are certainly a cook after my own heart

    I like both all beef and beef/pork meatloafs, but have yet to be wow-ed by a meatloaf with a chicken or turkey base. The one you mention above sounds pretty delicious though. How do you keep it from getting dry?

    and on a different note, have you ever been to The Front Porch in SF (mission/bernal)? they have some pretty delicious spiced homemade ketchup

  • Griffin Griffin

    There’s a thought Rainey – Jane Austen, Shakespeare and Meatloaf!! Would love to see your applique. The closest I come to costume at the moment is in my novel. I describe my characters dressing and what they wear – a lot.

    Erin, I will have to have a go at the chicken meatloaf. It’s true, best to know where your food comes from so you know it won’t kill you. Tho’ if I make this badly… ahem, sorry dad!!!

    If I can get some decent local organic beef then I may have a go at this tho’.

  • Rainey, I’ve never done one free form, I shall have to try it next time. Thanks lady!

    Kim, If I were you I’d grill everyone who had ever had it and then attempt it from there, adjusting where necessary.

    Jen, Right back at you! The shredded zucchini plays the role of the “moist maker” in the chicken meatloaf. It works beautifully.
    I’ve never been there, but it sounds like a place I will have to check out. Oh my, there are a lot of places I need to check out.

  • Griffin, Sounds like a good plan and I am sure the chicken meatloaf will turn out wonderfully for you. Oh, the onions should be browned first.

  • rainey rainey

    Erin- I am imagining you enjoying a meatloaf sandwich as I rehydrate some porcinis in the pan I caramelized my onions in in preparation for making my own. I have never used caramelized onions in a meatloaf before but it’s genius.

    I am also going to use oats as you suggest. I haven’t in years but it’s time again.

    Does anyone else here belong to the I-never-make-meatloaf-the-same-way-twice club?

    PS If you care to, please feel free to pass my e-mail addie onto Griffin. Then I could shoot him to some pix of the appliqué. Meanwhile, here’s a link to the kit that I’m using. Yes, using a kit is pathetic but I am so besotted with Kim McLean’s work and there’s no other way on the face of this green earth I’ll ever have anything so extraordinary. So I’m using a kit. http://www.gloriouscolor.com/userfiles/image/McLean/basket%20medallion%205.jpg

  • Will do Rainey, and I hope you enjoy it. As a matter of fact I am a member of that club too, though I usually use ginger and anise seed no matter what. Sometimes I toss in a little mustard or go nuts-o on the Worcestershire and even do a kind of kitchen sink variation, it’s all in how I feel at the time.

  • Yes, I would be in that club. Though, the last time I made it, a light bulb went off in my head (the Aha kind) there was this one lone pork chop I needed to use, so I ground the meat and added it to the beef. Later, as we were wondering why this one was so much more … Thought to myself, that’s why so many of those old recipes add a bit of pork. As for oats, I usually add whatever’s on hand, left-over rice, bread, cold oatmeal, even some cooked pumpkin once.

  • Debbie Debbie

    I too love meatloaf, but have not made it for years. Shall have to rectify that over the next few weeks. It would make a great lunch the day after and I shall need to take lunches to work. Have been puzzling over what to pack for myself and really should have read the blog.

    Have never added ginger and anise, but always always always made my own tomato sauces to put on top. I do like to cook the loaf and add the sauce as a garnish afterwards though. Also tend to use whatever is on hand so it is never the same one twice….

    Rainey, my Mum used to make her meatloaf your way. It was nice to have a crust all the way around. BTW, your applique is fabulous! Am looking forward to sewing and painting next year when I will have time on my hands.

  • Claudia, you know I’ve had it with a bit of pork and as wonderful as it was, and as much as I love pork, I’ve never been able to bring myself to add it to mine. I think it must be nostalgia.

    Debbie, I have to have my sauce baked, though sometimes I will add it in halfway through instead of right at the off. I love the way the sauce caramelizes, especially around the edges. It is the reason I make meatloaf.

  • rainey rainey

    I am still enjoying the remnants of the meatloaf you inspired me to make. Hope everyone else is having a great time chowing down on those meatloaf sandwiches! The caramelized onions really added flavor and they’ll be in my future meatloaves whatever else I do or don’t add.

    Claudia, I also used half pork and, since ground pork wasn’t available at my market, I also whirled some loins up in my food processor.

    Debbie, big hugs and I hope you get to enjoy some painting and sewing soon. What a nice counterpoint to travel and sciences!

    You know the person who’s inspired me — KIm McLean — is an Aussie, yes? And another inspiration is the author of this blog http://quiltsalott.blogspot.com/ who’s Aussie as well. A lot of brilliant needlework is coming from that part of the world.

  • Oh my goodness, that ketchup sounds absurdly delicious. I’m starting to rethink my meatloaf aversion…

  • Rainey, I am so glad you like it! Yes, the onions really are the icing on the cake.

    Sam, Thank you, I hope you do! Welcome to The Endive Chronicles!!!

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