Main Dish – Roast Meat Loaf

On the Road to Emmaus

This past Sunday’s Gospel reading came from Luke 24:13-35, and it’s always been one of my favorite Bible stories.

It’s Easter afternoon, and two men are walking the seven miles from Jerusalem to the town of Emmaus. They’re talking about all that’s happened over the weekend with Jesus, this prophet, this teacher in whom they’d placed their hopes. As they are walking, Jesus Himself joins them on their way, but they don’t recognize him.

They are remembering all of the events in Jerusalem–how Jesus was tried by the Romans, put to death, and buried. But then they have these reports from women who say they’d seen the risen Savior. They are confused, though, and not sure what to think.

Then comes this zinger:

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27 ESV).

It’s a somewhat unassuming verse, but as Scott referred to it in his sermon on Sunday, this was a Bible study I wish I could’ve attended! Jesus explains everything in the Old Testament, all the stories of the prophets, the kings, the patriarchs, and how all of this history pointed to Himself.

My other favorite part of this passage is how the disciples finally recognize Jesus. They get to their home in Emmaus, and entreat Jesus to stay with them. And then it’s over dinner–in the breaking of the bread that they finally recognize Jesus. It’s not communion, but it’s an echo of it. Jesus uses these ordinary elements–bread, wine, water, even mud to help us understand who He is.

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This image is Caravaggio’s painting of this scene. His Jesus looks a little chubby, but I love the richness of this scene. Here they are, eating a dinner together, and suddenly, all becomes clear to them. Here is Jesus, in the flesh, risen from the dead.

Roast Meat Loaf

This dish (p. 57) comes from my mom. I’m not sure where she got the recipe, but it’s my favorite meatloaf recipe, hands down.

I’ve noticed a few variables with meatloaf recipes over the years. One is the meat–ground beef, ground pork, or ground turkey. I’ve used all three types of meat with this recipe. The men in my life like the beef best. I tend to do a mixture of ground beef and ground turkey these days.

Another variable is the starch that holds the meat together. Most common are, I think, bread crumbs. This recipe calls for dry oats. The third variable is the topping. For this topping, it’s chili sauce mixed with brown sugar. Yum!

This recipe calls for you to put together your ingredients, and then line a loaf pan with waxed paper. You shove the meat mixture into the pan, and then refrigerate so it takes a nice loaf shape once you pop it out of the waxed paper later. But, when I don’t feel like taking the time to do that, I just shape it in a roasting pan with my hands into a loaf-like shape. That works too.

The other thing you can do to shorten the prep time is to dice the onion but skip the step of cooking it separately. The recipe says to sauté the onion in butter before adding it to the meat mixture. But I just dice the onion and add it to the mixture without cooking it ahead of time–cooking it in the oven is sufficient.

One last tip: it’s easiest to mix the meat, milk, oats, egg, and seasonings with your hands. You need to get in there, down and dirty!

Here’s the mixture ready to place into the pan.

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This main dish really is delicious! Part of what I like best is its topping, really more like a glaze. I’m sure it doesn’t add a lot of calories, but definitely makes it tasty.

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Here it is out of the oven, about halfway through the cooking time. It’s time to put on the glaze.

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Yum!

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