Rediscovering the Classic American Dish
Prepare to immerse yourself in the world of meatloaf, an enduring American favorite that is worth revisiting. But what makes this kosher meatloaf stand out? It’s completely dairy-free and incredibly moist and flavorful!
Interesting Fact: Did you know that meatloaf dates back to Ancient Rome? However, it only appeared in American cookbooks in the late 1800s. During the Great Depression, it became a go-to recipe for families looking to stretch their food budget. They used inexpensive cuts of meat and leftover ingredients, adding bread or saltine crackers and spices for taste and binding.
In modern times, breadcrumbs have replaced the crackers, adding moisture and helping to hold the meatloaf together.
A Dairy-Free Twist on a Timeless Classic
While many meatloaf recipes include milk, this kosher version skips the dairy and uses water instead. After all, milk is mainly added for its liquid content, which can be easily substituted. Growing up, my mom’s meatloaf recipe included onion soup powder for seasoning, but now I present to you the classic recipe!
If you enjoy dairy-free American classics, don’t forget to check out my Southern Fried Chicken recipe as well.
Addressing Common Questions
Does Meatloaf Typically Contain Dairy?
Yes, traditional meatloaf recipes often call for milk, so dairy is a common ingredient unless otherwise specified.
The Role of Milk in Meatloaf
Milk serves to hydrate the breadcrumbs and make the meatloaf moist and delicious.
Can Meatloaf Be Made Without Milk?
Absolutely! You don’t necessarily need milk, but you do need a liquid to add moisture.
Substitutes for Milk in Meatloaf
When substituting milk, I recommend using a neutral-flavored oat milk or simply water.
No Milk, No Problem!
If milk isn’t your thing, fear not! As long as you replace it with another liquid like water or oat milk, you can still enjoy a flavorful and moist meatloaf.
Are Eggs Considered Dairy?
While eggs come from animals, they are not considered dairy. Dairy products are made from milk, including cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt. Eggs fall under the protein food group.
The Versatility of Eggs
In most recipes, eggs play three key roles: binding the ingredients together, acting as a mild leavening agent, and adding moisture.
Substituting Eggs in Meatloaf
If you prefer an egg-free meatloaf, you can use a combination of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water as a suitable substitute.
Thawing Meat: Getting it Just Right
Thawing in the Fridge
For optimal results, thaw your meat in the refrigerator. This method takes time, usually a full day, but it’s the safest way to thaw meat. Once thawed, poultry can remain in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking.
Thawing in Cold Water
If you’re short on time, you can thaw your meat in cold water. This method typically takes two to three hours. Remember to change the water every 30 minutes to ensure even thawing.
Pro Tip: Avoid using warm or hot water as it can unevenly cook the meat and compromise its quality.
Cooking Frozen Meat
According to the USDA, you can cook meat from frozen. However, be prepared for it to take 50% longer to cook. To ensure even cooking, use a roasting rack or place the meat over vegetables to allow for heat circulation.
Refreezing Raw Meat
If you have unused raw meat that you want to refreeze, you can do so as long as it was thawed in the refrigerator. However, be aware that refreezing meat can lead to a loss in flavor and moisture. To compensate, consider marinating the meat to enhance its taste and juiciness.
Remember: Do not refreeze any meat that has been left outside the refrigerator for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F.
Adjusting for a Convection Oven
In a conventional oven, hot air slowly cooks the food from the outside in. However, in a convection oven, a fan circulates the hot air, resulting in around 25 to 30 percent more energy.
To adjust your cooking times and temperatures for a convection oven, you have a couple of options:
- Lower the temperature by 25ºF for cookies and pies, and 50ºF for roasting meats.
- Shorten the cooking time by 25%, checking the food for doneness earlier than the original recipe suggests.
Keep in mind that some convection ovens automatically adjust the temperature for you. Consult your oven’s manual for specific guidance.
Storing and Freezing Leftovers
Once your meatloaf has cooled, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days. If you have leftovers, you can also freeze them. Place the meatloaf in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Just remember that the quality may degrade over time.
Ready to Indulge in Dairy-Free Delight?
Experience the timeless flavor of meatloaf without the dairy. With these tips and a few simple substitutions, you can create a moist and savory kosher meatloaf that will impress your friends and family. Enjoy!