Food - Drink
The Historic Way People Used To Can Meatloaf
By ERICA MARTINEZ
The process of preserving food has long been essential for human survival, especially before fridges and freezers made it easy to keep food fresh. It may surprise you to learn that meatloaf — which is usually home-cooked, sold frozen, or offered as a ready-to-eat, pre-prepared item — used to be preserved and eaten as a canned product.
Between the wartime of the 19th century and the crash of the Great Depression, canning company Ball published its first home canning recipe book, titled “Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving.” The 1915 book had how-tos for preserving a wide array of foods, including meatloaf, which has a rather unique canning process.
Ball's recipe calls for five pounds of meat scraps mixed with breadcrumbs, herbs, seasonings, onion juice, eggs, gelatin, and stock, which is then jarred, processed, and sealed. Some modern cooks have their own takes on this recipe, minus the gelatin, which makes for a product that is closer to meatloaf and further from a gelatinous block of meat stuff.