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Roman Meatloaf


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Recipe by Felice Debbage

I made this dish for Mugmort Melees back in March 2010 as part of my first feast, entitled "I Can't Believe It's Period!" As it turns out, meatloaf dates back to the Roman Empire, although the original recipe calls for cooked animal brains. I used ground beef instead, since even the most adventurous people in our Society tend to avoid organ meat. My meat-eating friends tell me this recipe is good, although obviously I've never eaten it myself. I do think the vegan version is pretty delicious, though.

Meat-Based Version (serves 4)

Meatloaf

2 lbs. of ground beef
5 eggs
3 tsp. dried parsley (or 3 Tbsp. fresh)
1 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
1 tsp. black pepper
Enough broth to moisten the mixture

Moisten herbs with broth and grind them in a mortar if they are fresh. If not, then just mix the ingredients together with your gloved hands until it takes on a uniform consistency.

Put mixture in a metal loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350°F. For food safety, use a meat thermometer, and leave in the oven until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 160°F. Serve with Roman Gravy.

Roman Gravy with Beef Broth

2 cups beef broth
8 oz. mushrooms
1/2 tsp. dried parsley (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)
3 tsp. dried oregano (or 3 Tbsp. fresh)
1 tsp. black pepper

Put broth and spices in a pot on the stove. Boil until thickened. Slice mushrooms, and add to the broth. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. Ladle over slices of meatloaf.


Vegan Version (serves 4)

Mock Meatloaf

2 lbs. Lightlife Foods Gimme Lean Beef
(No eggs required. Gimme Lean is sticky!)
3 tsp. dried parsley (or 3 Tbsp. fresh)
1 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
1 tsp. black pepper
Enough broth to moisten the mixture

Moisten herbs with broth and grind them in a mortar if they are fresh. If not, then just mix the ingredients together with your gloved hands until it takes on a uniform consistency.

Put mixture in a metal loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350°F, or until the top is browned. Serve with Roman Gravy.

Roman Gravy with Vegetable Broth

2 cups Vegetable broth
8 oz. mushrooms
1/2 tsp. dried parsley (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)
3 tsp. dried oregano (or 3 Tbsp. fresh)
1 tsp. black pepper

Put broth and spices in a pot on the stove. Boil until thickened. Slice mushrooms, and add to the broth. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. Ladle over slices of meatloaf.




Source [Apicius: a Roman cookbook circa 400 AD, J. Vehling, (trans.))]: Put in the mortar pepper, lovage, and origany, moisten with broth and rub; add cooked brains and mix diligently so that there be no lumps. Incorporate five eggs and continue mixing well to have a good forcemeat which you may thin with broth. Spread this out in a metal pan, cook, and when cooked [cold] unmould it onto a clean table. Cut into handy size. [Now prepare a sauce.] Put in the mortar pepper, lovage, and origany, crush, mix with broth, put into a sauce pan, boil, thicken, and strain. Heat the pieces of brain pudding in this sauce thoroughly, dish them up, sprinkled with pepper, in a mushroom dish.

Published: November 4, 2010



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