In fact, it’s the ultimate 1950’s American comfort food. Although minced meat had been around since ancient times, the meat was usually pre-cooked (leftovers). Ground raw meat wasn’t processed and sold until the late 1800’s. Lack of refrigeration and ground meat’s potential for spoilage kept it from catching on.
Manufacturers produced home grinders and coupled them with recipes for ground meat dishes, including meat loaf. There are many, many variations. Some are made with ground beef, some with ground veal, some with a mixture of beef, veal and pork.
I can remember a time, during a spell of high meat prices, when soy protein was part of the mix. Unfortunately for the “meat extender” market in Louisville, Ralston Purina had a big dog food factory with a huge multi-silo storage facility, and the smell of soy meat extender cried, “DOG FOOD” in big stinky letters.
I prefer my Aunt Rose’s method of stretching the meat budget by adding oatmeal and chopped vegetables to the ground beef. Her meat loaf was always perfect. Mine was always greasy, dry on the outside and underdone on the inside. Since my husband doesn’t eat red meat, I’ve given up the quest for a good meat loaf recipe and just order it if I find it at restaurants. Meatless loaf, on the other hand, I do rather well. My mother–ah, my mother does a ROCKIN’ meatloaf. Both of these recipes reside on my now-defunct WEBLAHG.
WRITING PROMPT: Something meant to be appealing is distinctly UNappealing for an unanticipated reason.