Thursday, June 25, 2015

Beef and Pork Meatloaf with Fresh Cilantro

It's always feast or famine for the self-employed. And, although I think I see feast on the horizon, both Mr. FC&G and I have been experiencing just a bit of famine. Time to employ those money-saving techniques I'm so fond of!

As I've written before, one of the classic ways of saving money is by stretching your expensive foodstuffs, and the classic in this regard is meatloaf. The addition of an egg and a bit of cracker crumbs will make your expensive meat last into several meals. Since we buy our meat through a meat CSA, we have a "meat budget" of sorts in the form of our monthly allotment from our subscription. In times of plenty, we'll supplement with additional purchases, but in lean times, we try to make do with just what we have available for the month.

This recipe is dead simple but has a unique flavor thanks to the addition of cilantro, an herb that lends a Latin flavor to the dish. Since cilantro grows so fast, and since you have to cut it regularly to keep it from prematurely flowering and forming coriander seeds, this is a great time to use it in cooking.

According to some sources, cilantro is said to help chelate or remove heavy metals from the body. Since it's difficult to control your exposure to heavy metals depending on your geographic location and lifestyle factors, any little bit of help is a good thing. If the chelation properties aren't your top concern, you can comfort yourself with the idea that fresh herbs, at minimum, make a dish yummy!

For your reference, I harvested about an ounce (by weight) of cilantro stems, then stripped the fronds off and mixed them into the meat.  You could use more or less depending on the state of your garden and how much you like cilantro.

1 lb ground beef  (pastured, organic)
1 lb ground pork or mild pork sausage (pastured, organic)
1 egg (from pastured and organically-raised hens)
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 oz fresh cilantro on the stem (from home garden)
1 cup ketchup, optional (organic)

Remove the cilantro "fronds" from the stem and roughly chop if needed.  Combine remaining ingredients (except for ketchup) with the herb and mix well. (Mixing with your hands is traditional and faster than using a utensil.)

Shape into a loaf in a cake plate or similar pan and top with ketchup.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Potatoes will bake alongside this very nicely, if you'd like to maximize your oven time.

The Analysis

Fast:  Prep is pretty easy, and it's even easier around here:  Mr. FC&G does all of the mixing with his hands, since he knows I don't like to touch meat.

Cheap:  All told, this is probably $12 or so worth of ingredients.  We buy fairly expensive meat and eggs, which is why stretching is a good idea.  Mr. FC&G will eat for several days on this one batch, however.  There are probably 6 to 8 servings here.

Good:  I like Latin flavors, so I will eat a small piece of this as part of my once-a-week meat consumption routine.  Mr. FC&G seems to like the addition of the cilantro "just fine," as he says.
Pin It!

No comments :

Post a Comment