Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the food item. See Meat Loaf for the article about the singer.
A meatloaf is a meat dish consisisting of seasoned ground meat (usually ground beef or a combination of ground beef and other ground meats), which is formed into loaf shape and baked. It is often served warm as part of the main course, but can also be found sliced as a cold cut. It is in many respects similar to pâté, which is generally more finely ground, however. The meatloaf can either be placed on a baking tray or in a mold. The result is usually shaped like a loaf of bread, but other shapes, e.g. heart shapes are possible.
Meatloaf is an extremely versatile dish. The ground meat is frequently mixed with breadcrumbs or small pieces of bread soaked in milk, red wine (or another liquid), or oatmeal, and eggs in order to make it more dough-like. Salt, herbs and spices, such as parsley, as well as chopped vegetables, such as onions and celery may also be added. Furthermore, meatloaves may be filled with eggs, cheese, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, or a combination of these ingredients. Meatloaf is best eaten with some kind of sauce or relish. The dish can be considered Italian (it is a cousin to the meatball), middle american, or even soul food.
Because of the potential hodgepodge of ingredients, meatloaf is a popular food in comedy, and usually portrayed as being ruined by a lack of cooking skill.
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