Ch 166 -- Meatloaf
It was time now to make dinner for everyone. I had a lot of Orc and Bloody Horn Bull meat I had minced yesterday and I decided to use up more of it by making a meatloaf. It had been a long time since I had meatloaf and with all that minced meat to hand, well...
I could bake a meatloaf in the Black Magic Cooking Stove's oven while I cooked other things like rice on the top burners separately, very convenient. The meatloaf I made for myself wasn't much like a commercial product, it was a lot simpler but I liked the taste and it went well with rice. Yosh, let's get started.
To make things easier I bought most of the ingredients from the Net Super. I already had a good stock of onions, ketchup, Worcester sauce, red wine and bread crumbs but I needed other things like bacon, frozen mixed vegetables (this would save me a lot of washing, peeling and chopping), boiled quail eggs, regular hen eggs, butter and pound cake baking tins for the final product.
I washed some rice and let it soak before cooking while I got started on the meatloaf. First I dunked breadcrumbs in milk in a bowl then chopped up onions before frying them in melted butter in a frying pan. Once they became translucent I dumped in the frozen mixed vegetables and stirred them in to the accompaniment of a cloud of steam and sputtering. I added minced Bloody Horn Bull meat to the bowl with the milk-softened breadcrumbs then added the fried onions and mixed vegetables. I broke in some regular hen eggs and seasoned the mix with salt and pepper and a touch of grated nutmeg before kneading the mixture until it was consistent and a little sticky.
My recipe isn't much different from making hamburger patties really, the main change ups are the mixed vegetables and the boiled eggs and the way it was cooked. Once I had a large amount of the meatloaf mix ready I greased up the pound cake baking tins and lined them with strips of bacon. I added some of the meatloaf mix, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the tins and making sure there were no bubbles of air trapped. I added the quail eggs two by two across the bottom layer before filling the tins with the rest of the meatloaf mix, again making sure there were no trapped air bubbles. I folded the bacon protruding around the edge of the tins over the top of the mix and covered them with foil before I put them into the preheated oven.
Normally I'd bake a meatloaf like this at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes but the Black Magic Cooking Stove's oven didn't have a temperature setting so I'd just have to judge it by eye. Now for the rice. I lit the Black Magic Cooking Stove's burners and started boiling the clay pots full of washed rice and water while the meatloaf baked in the oven below.
Meatloaf is easy to cook, it's a large dish which I could easily monitor to prevent it burning. As the rice pots on the burners up top steamed away I opened the oven door and peered in.
"They may be ready soon..." I muttered to myself, poking a bamboo skewer in through the foil of one of the meatloafs to test it. When the juices that oozed out were transparent I took the meatloafs out of the oven and started making the sauce. I drained off the gravy from the pound cake tins into the frying pan then added butter, ketchup, red wine and chuno sweet sauce and simmered it.
I extracted the meatloafs from the pound cake tins (the bacon lubricated everything, better than baking parchment and, well, bacon!) and cut one of them into thick slices. Fer and Sui each got three slices while Dora-chan got two, placed on plates and covered in sauce. I reserved the ends for myself since I liked the crunchier drier pieces.
"Right, it's ready." I announced and as soon as the plates were put down everyone started eating.
"Nuuu, has this got vegetables in it...?" Fer asked telepathically as he consumed the meatloaf. "I can't avoid them, but I suppose it's tasty enough." Fer was an absolute meat supremacist but eating veggies was good for him and the others. With meatloaf, well, he couldn't avoid eating the mixed vegetables and leave them in his dish like he did on other occasions. I suspected he was objecting to the vegetables because he thought he had to uphold his position on meat-eating, nothing more. His jaws didn't stop even when he was complaining.
"I like this thick sauce. It's really delicious, isn't it." Dora-chan was becoming more discriminating about his food but I had to agree, the thick sauce works really well on the baked minced meat.
"Wow, there’s something in the middle. Is it eggs? Sui loves eggs." Sui was digging in to her portion enthusiastically. I'm glad you like eggs, Sui-chan. Maybe I could make Scotch eggs for you?
It had been a long time since I had made meatloaf, in fact not since I had been summoned to this world and I wasn't sure I had got the recipe quite right but it was the sort of cooking that didn't have to be perfectly prepared to taste good. Fer and Dora-chan were eating the meatloaf heartily and Sui-chan seemed to like it too. Well now, it was time for me to eat my portion...
It looked good, I could see two quail eggs peeping out of the sliced piece on my plate, sheer decadence. I covered it with the sauce and took a bite. Like Dora-chan said, the sauce was delicious. I could taste the red wine and the butter combining nicely with the rather dry minced meat and the mixed vegetables. I couldn't figure out what Fer was complaining about, the veggies made this dish.
Would a sauce like this work with hamburgers? I tilted my head, considering the possibility but I wasn't sure. It certainly suited the drier meatloaf, it would maybe be too much for juicier fried meat. The quail eggs tasted good too, they were an option I usually added for my own reasons just because it made the dish more luxurious. The bacon too, of course, there's no reason to wrap a meatloaf in it as I had but the extra salt was a sharp tasty treat.
""Seconds"" -- Fer and Sui-chan demanded more just as Dora-chan rolled over on his back, his little belly well-rounded from his own serving of meatloaf, declaring "I'm stuffed, I couldn't eat another bite."
The Black Magic Cooking Stove's oven was large enough that I had been able to make several meatloafs at one time so I could dish out more slices straight away rather than having to cook another meatloaf from scratch to meet the demand. The Black Magic Cooking Stove was so convenient, I was really glad I had bought it.
Fer and Sui were satisfied with just two more servings and then it was time for dessert, with supposedly-full-to-bursting-point Dora-chan demanding more "wobbly stuff". I opened up Net Super and got him his pudding, added strawberry shortcake for Fer and since Sui-chan was looking for something different this time round I chose millefeulle crepes for her.
The fact there's always room for dessert is a clear proof that, in this world at least, Justice prevails.