Miss Emma Cole shared a recipe for Meat Loaf in ‘The Spartan Cook Book’, published by The Sparta W.T.A., London, Ontario, Canada, in 1908. As was customary at the time, the recipe does not list the ingredients separately:
‘Two cups finely chopped meat (cold), one cup bread crumbs, two eggs, one small onion, chopped. Salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and put in a well buttered basin. Cover with a buttered paper and set in a large basin of hot water. Bake one hour. Turn on a hot platter and serve with gravy.’
In 1913, according to the ‘Cornerstone Club Cookbook’, published in that year, a meat loaf could be made using ‘thirty cents ground round steak’, cream of wheat, hot water, spices and chopped onion. A little research, courtesy of http://www.inflationdata.com, indicates that round steak was selling for about $.20 per pound in 1913. One hundred years later, in 2013, your basic round steak (not very lean) is averaging about $5.71 per pound in US cities. Even at $5.71 per pound, you could expect to purchase just under one ounce today (thirty cents worth) to make your meatloaf for a family of four! No wonder ‘fillers’ came into being!
It seems that almost everyone has a recipe for meatloaf or similar concoction. In ‘Germany – A Culinary Tour’, by Wolfgang W. Reichert, published in 1994, there is a recipe for ‘Bavarian Baked Meat Loaf’. The author notes that ‘Perhaps the most popular Bavarian titbit (sic) is Leberkas, lit. ‘liver cheese’, although it contains neither. It actually consists of 80% beef and 20% pork’. He also says that Bavarian butchers make it twice daily for ‘…the obligatory snacks in-between around 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.’:
1 ¾ pound finely ground beef
7 oz. finely ground pork
9 oz. bacon, ground
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. ground mace (or pinch of nutmeg)
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 ¼ – 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, minced
Knead ground beef on wooden board till smooth, add ground pork, ground bacon and spices and mix thoroughly. While kneading add enough water to keep mixture smooth but not too thin. Spread butter evenly in roasting pan, evenly sprinkle onion in it. Form meat loaf and place in open pan, brush top with water. Bake meat loaf in pre-heated oven about one hour at 355 degrees F (180 decrees C).
There are many more meatloaf recipes out there. Please share your favorites !