Appetites: Meatloaf and mashed potatoes and book review

This right here is a heart attack on a plate…so bad for you, but so good you don’t care!

When I saw Anthony’s description of the meatloaves in his life, from his mom’s, to school cafeteria, to TV dinners, I knew this was going to be something special and could not wait to try it. It does take a lot longer than my go to meatloaf recipe, so I’d call this more of a labor of love than your average midweek family meal.

He starts off by cooking some chopped onions and celery with some herbs and then mixing that with some minced meats, eggs, bread crumbs and seasoning. This gets packed into a loaf pan and covered with foil and baked for an hour before the foil is removed and tomato paste is brushed over the top and it continues to bake until it reaches the appropriate temperature.

Meanwhile you make a mushroom gravy and the accompanying mashed potatoes. The gravy is simply enough – cooking some chopped shallots and mushrooms and mixing in a roux made from butter and flour then adding in stock and cream and seasoning. It is the most amazing mushroom gravy and I am definitely going to be using this again!

The Robuchon style mashed potatoes is where things really get interesting. Anthony obviously loved Joel Robuchon’s mashed potatoes so much as to try to recreate them on his own which he did by adding an obscene amount of butter and heavy cream. Í’m not gonna lie, this was by far the nicest mashed potato recipe we’ve ever had, but there is no way we are eating this on a regular basis or making it our go to recipe. There was 450g of butter for 1 kg of potatoes used!

While the meal mightn’t look the most appetizing it really was delicious. I personally disliked the tomato paste topping on the meatloaf. The tomato paste taste doesn’t really cook off and so it becomes a bit overpowering. I’d probably add tomato sauce instead. The other take away I had from this recipe was that I wasn’t burping it for the rest of the evening like I normally do with our meatloaf. Thinking this was because I precooked the onions, but it’s really hard to know.

It is with a heavy heart that Food52 Cookbook Club added Anthony Bourdain’s books to the list for June. I’m really glad I had quick access to Appetites through our local library and that I had a chance to pay tribute to him through our cooking this month. While I’ve only had the chance to scratch the surface of this book, it has already won us over with the best Egg & Bacon Rolls ever. We have seriously made them 4 times already since discovering the recipe. And there is so much more I want to try.

I will say that for some reason I was not prepared for the rough language in the book. I know he would swear, but I thought this was going to be more like Gordon Ramsay’s books which don’t show signs of his penchant for swearing at all. My 12 year old thought it was most hilarious when he saw the “F” word in big bold writing as I was looking through the cookbook. Never mind that, I just read it away from the 6 year old who is absolutely fascinated with that language atm.

RIP Anthony. Thank you for sharing your love of food and culture with the world. You certainly left your mark on us all.

To see my other two posts on Appetites, click on the links below: