Ask The Chef

Click Here to submit your questions.

“I saw the week-long cooking class for $1,000 that you offer and said to myself, that’s crazy! But I am interested in going cooking school, so I checked into some of them and realized that they cost $2,000 per week. Now your class seems like a bargain!” said Carol, who did attend our five-day Mastering the Art of Cooking class last week.

We just finished a week of cooking — 30 hours and 60 recipes. This intense cooking class is a mini-cooking school. Yesterday’s New York Times had a front-page article on the high-cost and low-returns of professional cooking school. No need to spend $41,000; join us for a compressed kitchen education!

Our next session of Mastering the Art of Cooking will run from September 27 to October 1, 10 am to 4 pm for five consecutive days. The class gets to choose the recipes they would like to make!

Highlights from last week’s class included cheese souffle, apple tarte Tatin, osso buco on creamy polenta, lobster-goat cheese ravioli in tarragon beurre blanc, chicken enchiladas with homemade tortillas, chiles rellenos, chicken-andouille gumbo, devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream, oyster mushroom tempura, and pork potstickers with homemade wrappers.

Sometimes, a simple and classic recipe is the most memorable. The class went nuts for meat loaf! The secret to great meat loaf are:

  • use veal as one of the meats (the natural gelatin in veal gives texture to the meat loaf)
  • do not buy pre-ground meat but freshly-grind the shoulder cuts (also the secret to a great hamburger)
  • saute the onions and garlic in oil before adding to the meat
  • flavor the meat loaf with porcini powder or dried porcini mushrooms
  • after baking, put a heavy weight on the meat loaf to compress the loaf
  • let the meat rest for 30 minutes after baking so that the delicious fat will reabsorb into the meat (those meat loaf pans that drain the juice from the meat produce a dry loaf)

Meat Loaf
3 slices of bread
1/3 cup milk
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon porcini powder
1 pound chuck roast
1 pound veal shoulder
1 pound pork shoulder
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons horseradish
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon pepper 

Soak the bread in milk, then squeeze out any excess liquid. Set aside. Saute the onions in oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic. Add the porcini powder. Let cool. Cut the meats into cubes. Grind the meats through a meat grinder and combine with the bread, onions, eggs, horseradish, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Place in a loaf pan. Bake uncovered in 350˚ oven for about an hour. Remove and place a sheet pan on top of the loaf and weigh down with a heavy weight. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Unmold and slice.

Of course, the next day, enjoy a cold meat loaf sandwich with homemade mayonnaise!


3 Comments for “Mastering Meat Loaf”  

  1. Veronica

    Dear St. Louis residents: you have no idea how lucky you are. I know I’ve said this before, but the cooking classes in NYC make me long for Kitchen Conservatory! THE best instructors. THE best recipes. THE best staff. THE best classes. Really the best deal anywhere!

  2. Anne

    Thank you! Please move back…we’re having so much fun!

  3. Carol

    I enjoyed “Mastering the Art of Cooking” course. Your wealth of knowledge of food and the history of each region is truly exceptional; plus you have the patience and the gift to teach novices such as me. I look forward to the next brochure of class, but then again, I may be back in September. Thank you for a fantastic cooking experience.