I made something gruesome and delicious.
No, really, it was good.
This is meatloaf.
Meatloaf with cheese on top.
And some ketchup.
The nails are made of onion.
The wrist bones are onion too.
Where are you going?
This is how I made it:
Since August I've had a post it note over my desk that simply said "meat hand". I mulled over how to make it for a while. I realized that the old formed inside a plastic glove thing wouldn't work since the fingers would cook so much faster than the rest of the hand. It wasn't until I saw this hand gelatin mold that I had my plan:
I shot several angles to show how it has a base built in, meaning I could probably use it to mold meatloaf.
I made the basic meatloaf recipe from How to Cook Everything using a food processor to chop the onions and carrot to a very fine mince so I could fill in the details of the mold without trouble. One meatloaf recipe using 2 pounds of meat will make two hands.
I sprayed the inside of the mold with cooking oil spray and it came out fairly easily. I put it on top of a rack to allow the fat to run off as it cooked.
I did a few versions, learning as I went along.
The first one was straight meatloaf. I surrounded it with mashed potatoes and kale (or brain matter and swamp greens if you have kids, or just act like kids). It looked ok, sort of creepy:
The next time I tried adding fingernails made of onion, which were just like press on nails:
To make the fingernails I sliced a thin round off of a single layer of an onion, then used kitchen scissors to trim it into a nail shape keeping the lines in the onion running the length of the nail. I kept the thinnest end of the onion slice at the tip of the nail. (Shown here using a red onion as it's easier to see details.)
I also covered it with ketchup before cooking:
It turned out gross:
This time to better define the fingers I piped mashed potatoes around the hand to define the shape. I just used a ziploc bag with a small corner snipped off to do the detail inbetween fingers, then I snipped off a larger corner to pipe around the hand. I smoothed down the mashed potatoes with a silicone spatula. The results where pretty creepy.
The ketchup covered hand made me pretty happy but... I had this idea. My mom used to throw a slice of cheese on top of her meatloaf before cooking it and the cheese always turned out browned and crispy. I wondered how that would work with my relatively delicate hand. I also had the idea to use the smaller inner layers of the onion to create a cartoon-y wrist bone sticking out.
I made two versions. The first used white onion and was simply covered in cheese. The second used red onion and was covered with ketchup and then cheese. I used slices of provolone cheese because I knew it wouldn't slide off completely as it melted. (Maggi suggested it, thanks Maggi!) This time I used the version of meatloaf with spinach, again from How to Cook Everything. Here are some pre-cooked pictures:
I peeled an onion until I got to the smaller inner layers and simply pressed it into the wrist:
I trimmed the cheese to fit around the fingernails:
If I were to do it again I would have put less cheese around the fingers, or rather, I would have put narrower pieces. The cheese pooled inbetween the fingers and made it more difficult to diguise later on.
This cheese thing, it worked a bit too well. We couldn't bring ourselves to actually eat either of them (though, we had been eating a lot of meatloaf lately). Here is a picture showing them side by side. They were cooked at the same time and the one with the ketchup beneath the cheese (white fingernails) browned a bit more. You can also see that piping the detail more carefully can make a difference:
The wrist bone of the white onion was pushed out a bit as the meatloaf cooked:
The smaller onion piece of the red onion write bone wasn't as impressive:
The red onion fingernails were creepier, but the white onion fingernails might get the point across more quickly:
Here is a cute pumpkin pancake chaser:
Just in case you need it.