The Meatloaf with the Frosting

 

The Meatloaf with the Frosting
 
Laurie Dowie
Halifax, Massachusetts
A recipe with a name like this is sure to bring the kids running. The “frosting” is, of course, not a sweet icing, but a blanket of creamy mashed potatoes that surrounds the meatloaf, making this a comforting and filling winter meal. “This meatloaf was a favorite at our house when I was growing up. My mom has made this recipe since I was a child, and her mother before that. I have been making it for my own family for six years. Although I often make more complicated dishes, it still evokes that ‘Wow!’ look. It’s comfort food at its simplest and finest.”
 
Serves 6 to 8
 
            Meatloaf
  •             2          slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces and pulsed                              in a food processor to coarse crumbs
  •             3          tablespoons vegetable oil
  •                         Salt and pepper
  •             1          onion, minced
  •             1/2       cup whole milk
  •             2          large eggs
  •             1          teaspoon dried thyme
  •             1/2       teaspoon onion powder
  •             2          pounds meatloaf mix
  •             1/3       cup chopped fresh parsley
             
 
                        Frosting
  •             2          pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 3/4 inch thick
  •             1          cup heavy cream, warmed
  •             2          tablespoons unsalted butter
  •             1/2       teaspoon salt
  •             1/4       teaspoon pepper
  •             1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
 
1. For the meatloaf: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Following the photos on page 000 [see “Making a Meatloaf,” above], line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, set a wire rack over the baking sheet, and place a 9 by 6-inch piece of foil in the center of the rack. Use a skewer to poke holes in the foil at 1/2-inch intervals.
 
2. Toss the bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of the oil, a pinch salt, and a pinch pepper. Toast the bread crumbs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 8 to 10 minutes.Set aside to cool to room temperature.
 
3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
 
4. Whisk the milk, eggs, thyme, onion powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, onion, meatloaf mix, and parsley.
Mix with your hands until evenly blended and the meat mixture does not stick to the bowl.
 
5. Transfer the meat to the foil rectangle and, using wet hands, pat the mixture into a 9 by 6-inch loaf. Bake until the center of the meatloaf registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven.
 
6. For the frosting: While the meatloaf bakes,place the potatoes in a colander and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Bring the potatoes and 2 quarts water to a simmer in a medium saucepan and cook until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan.
 
7. Stir the potatoes over low heat until thoroughly dried, 1 to 2 minutes. Set a ricer or food mill over a bowl and press or mill the potatoes into the bowl. Gently fold in the cream, butter, salt, and pepper until the cream is absorbed and the potatoes are thick and creamy. Cover and set aside to keep warm until the meatloaf reaches 140 degrees.
 
8. Once the meatloaf has reached 140 degrees, use a spatula to spread the potatoes over the meatloaf, smoothing the top and the sides. Sprinkle the meatloaf evenly with the cheese and return to the oven until the center registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes.
 
9. Turn on the broiler and broil the meatloaf until the potatoes are golden brown on top, 3 to 5 minutes. Let restfor 15 minutes before serving.
 
Notes from the Test Kitchen
We couldn’t wait to slice into a finished frosted meatloaf, and we were happily rewarded when the time came. Cooking the loaf on a foil-covered wired rack helped keep the meat from steaming in its own juices and later acted as a pedestal when it came time to frost. We added milk for a more moist meatloaf and some seasoning for a boost in flavor. Substituting heavy cream for the chicken broth called for in the original recipe ensured that the frosting was ultra-creamy. If you can’t find meatloaf mix, substitute 2/3 pound each of ground pork, ground beef, and ground veal.
 
 

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