June 02, 2023

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Hearty Fare... Foods to welcome cooler temperatures.

by Fran Claro

Nothing is cozier on better on a windy autumn afternoon than to start the oven going, settle the kids around the kitchen table to do their homework, and prepare a savory, meaty entrée. Often the dishes I find most satisfying to cook, and my family finds tastiest to dine on, are old standbys: No. 1 among them is meat loaf.

Meat Loaf

  • 4 slices white bread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins or currants
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 large carrot, finely minced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced scallions
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Generous amount salt and pepper
  • 11/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 11/4 pounds coarsely ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  1. In a large mixing bowl, break bread into small pieces; soak it, raisins and pine nuts in the milk. Set aside for a few minutes until the bread has absorbed the milk.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients; and work together gently with your hands.
  4. Line jelly roll pan with parchment.
  5. Coat parchment with olive oil.
  6. Divide ingredients into 2 loaves of equal size. Place loaves on baking sheet leaving space all around each loaf.
  7. Make a ridge in the center of each loaf.
  8. In a small pan, bring glaze ingredients to a simmer. Spoon glaze over each loaf.
  9. Bake about 55 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through.
  10. Place loaves on platter, cover with waxed paper; allow to rest 20 minutes before slicing.

About the Author

Fran Claro is a cook and contributing writer to Food & Crafts. She lives in Irvington, New York where she dreams up Italian feasts for her extended family.