Archive for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Category

Unlovely and Unloved: Celeriac

December 16, 2009

We ain't had nothin' but maggoty bread for three stinking days! We want cheesy meatloaf!

Nothing in the CSA box used to make me shudder more than seeing a bulb of celeriac. I tried it once and didn’t like anything about it. In fact, a bulb of celeriac reminds me of a Gothmog, a character from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  See? You can barely tell them apart!  And yes, I know. I’m a nerd.

Gothmog and celeriac. Separated at birth?

Usually I leave the celeriac behind for someone who likes it to pick up.  So imagine my dismay a couple of weeks ago when I didn’t pay attention to what was in my box.  When I unpacked it at home, there it was at the bottom.  A bulb of celeriac.  Sitting there rather accusingly, I thought. 

And then salvation appeared in the form of a recipe from Harmony Valley Farm’s cheese newsletter. My theory is if you throw enough cheese, butter and cream at something, it should become edible. Throw in beef and pork and it’s assured. Cheesy Meatloaf to the rescue. A yummy, moist meatloaf, oozing with cheese. I used a garlic scape & pepper cheddar. I think a pepper jack would be wonderful too. 

This meatloaf was almost succulent!  And the bonus:  I couldn’t even tell there was celeriac in it.  Is that wrong? 

Cheesy Meatloaf

Adapted from a Harmony Valley Farm Cheeseplate Newsletter, November 19-21, 2009, Volume 2, Issue 15
 

Serves 4 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small celeriac, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium shallot, diced
1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms, soaked in 1/2 cup hot water, chopped, soaking liquid reserved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs
6 ounces of your favorite firm cheese, 3 oz. shredded & 3 oz. cut up into 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg, lightly beaten 

Preparation 

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a roasting or jelly roll pan with foil and coat the bottom with 1 tablespoon of the oil. 

In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the carrots, celeriac and shallot and sauté until tender and starting to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Let cool for 10 minutes. 

In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid and soak for 5 minutes. 

In another bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, shredded cheese, salt and pepper. 

In a large bowl, using your hands, gently mix together the ground beef and pork, soaked bread crumbs, vegetable mixture, egg, cubed cheese, salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and shape into a 10-by-5-inch loaf. Cover the top and sides of the meat loaf with the
cheese-bread crumb mixture. 

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat loaf registers 165°F, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let the meat loaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing.


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