Fruited Meat Loaf

So meat loaf. What in the world. And dried fruit in your meat loaf? I think R may have actually squinched up his nose at the thought. I couldn't even tell him that instead of ketchup I was using a mixture of Dijon mustard and apricot preserves. There is no way that was going to fly. Luckily we had last minute dinner guests, so I wasn't really asking for opinions. And of course he loved it. And of course he didn't admit his resounding wrongness. Admit it, R, admit it.

I guess it's not really much to look at, but I don't find big hunks of meat, loafed or otherwise, to be particularly beautiful in general. Anyway, you can leave the aesthetics for dessert, where they're always more appreciated. Tomorrow I'll give you a seriously great suggestion for finishing this meal off right. Promise.

Meat Loaf with Mustard and Dried Fruit
From Bon Appétit, October 1998 (the original recipe serves two, but I doubled it for four. Here is the doubled version)

20 ounces lean ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped mixed dried fruits (I used apricots, prunes, currents and apples)
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons chopped shallots (about half a large shallot)
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons apricot preserves (I used apricot/orange preserves)

Oven preheated to 425F. In a medium bowl, use your hands to work together the beef, breadcrumbs, fruit, eggs, shallots, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, sage, salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 4 oval loaves, about 1 inch thick. Place on a baking sheet.

Bake the meat loaves for 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix the preserves with the remaining 2 tablespoons of mustartd. Remove the loaves from the oven and brush the preserves mixture on top, usuing it all up. Return to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes or so, until cooked through.


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