Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Meatloaf Igloo

Meatloaf igloo. I never thought I'd hear those two words together. And it's exactly what you think it is. My husband introduced me to this Buzzfeed list of "21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes" and we squirmed and questioned each one, until we came to #20 - the Igloo Meatloaf. According to RochellesVintageRecipes,  the recipe was part of a five-page spread in the January 1967 issue of Family Circle. Here's what the ad looked like:

Doesn't that look... interesting? Ordinarily I would laugh and forget about it but today is my husband's birthday and when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he said, "A migloo." Or an "igloaf", I don't remember which he preferred. So... ladies and gentleman... I attempted the 1967 meatloaf igloo and I encourage you to do the same! Here's what the recipe includes:

For the Meatloaf:
2 lbs. ground beef (though I used just over a pound)
1/2 C fine dry bread crumbs
6 T minced onion
2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 1/3 C evaporated milk (though I ended up using only 1 C)

For the Potato Frosting:
1 1/2 C water
2/3 C evaporated milk
1/2 t salt
1 T butter
1 envelope (3 1/2oz.) of instant mashed potatoes

Cheddar cheese slices on top

First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Combine all the meatloaf ingredients into a medium size bowl (they recommend a 6 C or 1 1/2 quart bowl). Once combined, pack down firmly into the bowl.

Next, flip the bowl onto a shallow baking pan (I used a glass pie pan, which collected the juices I later poured out) and put it in the oven for anywhere between 75-90 minutes.

I should have made it taller, not wider, but the potatoes added height to the igloo!

When the timer has 15 minutes left, start to work on the potato frosting. In a saucepan, combine the ingredients listed above and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and pour the saucepan liquid into a bowl containing a packed of instant mashed potatoes. Whip or stir the instant potatoes with a fork briskly.

Once the loaf is done, "frost" it with the potato mixture and using a knife or a toothpick, draw on the lines to make it look like an igloo. Note that yours isn't going to look exactly like the original because the original was shot by a professional food photographer. And it's probably not real mashed potatoes in the ad, anyway.

I found it helped to dip a butter knife in hot water and then smooth it out as best I could, and then put the igloo lines in.

Bake an additional 15 minutes. When it's done in the oven, place the cheddar cheese slices on top and return to the oven until the cheese starts to melt. With my oven, it took about 3 minutes.

And there you have it kids... a meatloaf... igloo... with a birthday candle on top.

As for how it tastes? My husband said, and I quote, "If this isn't the best meatloaf I've ever tasted, it is most certainly the best igloo-shaped meatloaf I've ever tasted." So enjoy!

TOTAL COSTS: About $18 (all prices from Vons)
$3.40 for cheddar cheese slices
$6.31 for ground beef
$2.29 for Panko breadcrumbs
$.86 for an onion
$2.58 for 2 cans of evaporated milk
$.99 for butter
$1.25 for 2 pouches of instant mashed potatoes
Salt and pepper already on hand

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: Almost 2 hours
20 minutes to prep meatloaf
1 hour, 15 minutes in oven to bake
15 minutes in the oven with potatoes on

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
It's not difficult at all - the most "difficult" thing might be smoothing out the potatoes and making the lines straight, but that's about it!

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