Market Street Meat Loaf

Venice, California’s 72 Market Street is one hot restaurant. Several years ago we were served meat loaf and mashed potatoes, and we have never forgotten the wonderful flavors. This meat loaf is a hallmark of the New Basics.

It seems Tony Bill suggested including meat loaf on the menu at the restaurant. He discussed it with chef Leonard Schwartz who rolled his eyes thinking meat loaf was boring, but he began experimenting. Much to his surprise, Craig Claiborne came out for the recipe, Vogue magazine has termed it the “ultimate meat loaf” and “Good Morning America” flew him to New York to do the recipe on the show. Leonard says, “I suppose in the final analysis, Tony had a very good idea.”

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup finely chopped scallions (green onions), white bulb and 3 inches green
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrots
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup minced green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef chuck
  • 12 ounces sausage meat (not fennel-flavored Italian sausage)
  • ¾ cup fine fresh bread crumbs, toasted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, and add the onion, scallions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the moisture from the vegetables has evaporated, 10 minutes. Set aside to cool; then refrigerate, covered, until chilled, at least 1 hour.
  3. Combine the salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, cumin, nutmeg, and eggs in a mixing bowl, and beat well. Add the ketchup and half-and-half. Blend thoroughly.
  4. Add the chuck, sausage, and bread crumbs to the egg mixture. Then add the chilled vegetables and mix thoroughly with your hands, kneading for 5 minutes.
  5. With damp hands, form the mixture into an oval approximately 17 × 4½ × 1 ½ inches—resembling a long loaf of bread.
  6. Place the meat loaf in a baking dish, and place the dish inside a larger pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
  7. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Remove the baking dish from the water bath, and let the meat loaf rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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