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Nero Wolfe’s Lamb Loaf August 19, 2012

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Lamb, Wolfe recipe.
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My first reaction when seeing this recipe was, “Nero Wolfe eats meatloaf?!”. While Wolfe is of course known as a gourmand and a lover of fine food, it should not be forgotten that this is the same Wolfe who also appreciates a fine chili and other forms of – shall we say less formal cooking. In making this meatloaf, I thought it best to celebrate the heyday of the meatloaf and make one in the style of the 1950s or 60s – indeed, when the book that refers to the lamb loaf (Plot it Yourself) was first published (1959).

To start, I minced up lamb meat and a bit of pork meat, and blended them together. To this I added eggs, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, chopped shallots, basil, salt and pepper. Confession: I was meant to use green pepper, but had none and substituted red pepper instead – which I finely diced and also added. I added some white wine and then mixed it all together, before shaping the mixture into a delightful shape.

I then mixed Worcestershire sauce and some melted butter together, to form a sauce/glaze which I then brushed onto the meatloaf. I did a few layers to make sure it was well covered and then put the meatloaf in the oven.

While the meatloaf was cooking. I chopped and peeled potatoes, which I then boiled until they were soft. I mashed them until they were in fairly small chunks, then added what can only be described as a large amount of butter. I mashed the potatoes again until the butter had melted and combined, and then stirred in 2 eggs.

Once the meatloaf was done, it was time to decorate! I was instructed to add the potatoes to a piping bag, then pipe the potatoes around the loaf “being as decorative as [I] like”. Well, I like decorating cakes – surely the principle is the same…

If you are interested in replicating my fabulous potato design, I used a Wilton IM tip to pipe the ruffles around the base and over the top. I wanted to still be able to see the meatloaf – and of course keep it in the retro style.

I put the meatloaf back in the oven to brown the potatoes slightly, before it was ready to serve.

And the verdict – well, it was meatloaf. Delicious, Nero Wolfe-worthy meatloaf – but still meatloaf. The potatoes, on the other hand, were very very good. They were incredibly rich from the butter and eggs, and also very smooth.

I like to think of this recipe as something that Wolfe would primarily eat as a snack or a light lunch/late dinner rather than as a full sit-down, formal dinner. Archie, of course, would eat this late at night when he gets back from investigating a suspect – or maybe from one of his many stints in jail. If you’re going to eat a meatloaf this is certainly a great one to try, particularly if you make the mashed potatoes too.

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