If at First You Don’t Succeed…
|May 20, 2012||Filled under Beef, Main Dish, Slow Cooker|
I was recently asked why I have a recipe blog. I wasn’t expecting the question and there are so many possible answers. I could explain why I started it. I could explain my dreams of turning this little extracurricular activity into a full time career. Instead I gave the most basic reason for the Lunch-Wagon. “When everything else in the world is chaos, I can come home, make a White Chicken Lasagna and feel like everything is right with the world.”
There is something about the challenge of tweaking my favorite recipes, adding new ingredients, changing the mixing and cooking to eventually arrive at the perfect masterpiece in the end. I can be master of the universe, creator of perfect outcomes. And that is extremely satisfying. Except in the case of meatloaf.
For some unknown reason, meatloaf is my nemesis. That beautiful, moist, springy loaf of meat torments me with its elusiveness. Countless attempts at the perfect end result have ended in overly wet meat crumbles, bone dry meat bricks, and flavorless meat pockets. Each failure that I deliver to the dinner table should send me straight to the shredder with all my recipes for meatloaf. All this try, fail, try again, fail again meatloaf mania got me thinking about others who weren’t defeated by failures.
We will start with Thomas Edison. Everyone knows his genius was the source of many inventions we still use today. But probably his most famous invention is the modern light bulb. Mr. Edison is quoted as announcing that it would take “a matter of weeks” to invent the bulb. In actuality it was over two years later, 1000+ attempts and a little bit of humble pie before seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Even after his final success he spent years in court fighting other inventors to be credited with the invention.
In 1927 Lucille Ball was told by the head of the drama school she attended that she should seriously consider a different profession since, in his opinion, she lacked the talent to ever be a successful actress. Ouch! Try to imagine getting that feedback about something you love to do. When asked later in her career on what made her successful she stated “I am not funny. What I am is brave.” Chew on that one for a minute!
How about Walt Disney? Surely the man who defined the scope of children’s imagination never felt defeated. Actually ole Disney’s first cartoon production company Laugh-O-Gram was a captivating story of failure. By the end of 1922 (the year the company was founded) Disney himself was struggling to make ends meet, sleeping in his office and showering once a week at the local railway terminal. By mid 1923 the company filed for bankruptcy. Luckily before the company went under Disney created a little character called Mickey Mouse who proved to be quite successful down the road. Imagine the world without Mickey, Cinderella, Bambi, Snow White and Pinocchio.
So in the spirit of Edison, Lucy and Disney I attempted meatloaf once again. This time I used the crockpot. The family loved it. I still think I have a ways to go but I that is half the fun.
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 thick slices Italian bread
- 1 1/4 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 2 tbs dried parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbs flour
- 3/4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups ketchup
Putting It All Together:
- Fold aluminum foil in half and press into the bottom and up sides of crockpot.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and cook onion, carrots, and mushrooms until tender.
- Pour veggies into crockpot.
- In a small bowl soak bread in 1/2 cup water until bread absorbs water.
- Crumble bread into a large bowl.
- Add beef, sausage, garlic, parsley and salt.
- Mix well with hands and shape into a large loaf.
- Place loaf in crockpot.
- Stif flour, broth and wine together until well mixed and pour over meatloaf.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
- Uncover and pour ketchup on top of loaf.
- Recover and turn crockpot off, allowing to sit for 30 minutes.