Nero Wolfe’s Lamb Loaf August 19, 2012Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Lamb, Wolfe recipe.
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.