Monday, 18 January 2016

Dad's Barley & Cheese Meatloaf

I've done my Mom's Meatloaf; this one is from my Dad's recipe collection. I have adapted it a little. The original called for rice instead of barley, fewer seasonings, and didn't have any eggs in it. Even with the eggs, it's a bit delicate and crumbly, probably because of the barley. The barley is surprisingly unobtrusive though, and in my opinion makes the meatloaf very digestible and not too rich. The cheese is surprisingly subtle, but definitely adds to the appeal. Dad would definitely have put in the olives and I would have liked them, but I left them out here because Mr. Ferdzy is not a fan. You might want to scale back on the salt a little if you do add the olives.

It occurs to me that this mixture would be excellent used as a filling for cabbage rolls.  

8 servings
1 hour 45 minutes - 20 minutes prep time
not including cooking the barley

Dad's Barley & Cheese Meatloaf

Cook the Barley:
1/2 cup raw pot barley
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put it all in the rice cooker; cook. Alternatively, it can be cooked in a pot on the top of the stove. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a very low simmer. It should take about 40 minutes. Either way, do this some time ahead (up to a day or two refrigerated) so that it is cool when you start.

Make the Meatloaf:
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons mild vegetable oil
1 medium large carrot (1 1/2 cups grated, about)
100 grams (1/4 pound) old Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 large eggs
1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup chopped green pimento olives (optional)
500 grams (1 pound 2 ounces) very lean ground beef
1/2 cup tomato sauce

Peel and chop the onion finely. Peel and mince the garlic. Heat the oil in a small skillet, and cook the onion until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes over fairly low heat. Add the garlic for the last couple minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, put the at least partially cooled barley. Peel and grate the carrot, and add it to the barley, along with the onion and garlic once it is fairly cool as well. Dice the cheese and add it. Add the spices, grinding the cumin and peppercorns first. Add the eggs and tomato sauce, and the olives if you are using them. Mix well, until everything is evenly distributed and coated in the eggs.

Mix in the ground beef. I find this easiest to do by hand, mixing and squeezing to be sure everythin is well mixed. Pack the mixture into a 4" x 8" loaf pan, mounding it up over the top to make a nice loaf shape. Glaze it with the remaining tomato sauce.

Bake the meatloaf at 350°F for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until well set. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Last year at this time I made Pasta "alla Pizza".

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