Saturday, January 15, 2011

Meatloaf: No Ketchup Required

By now you know I have a thing for meatloaf because it's one of my favorite meals my mom used to make. Unfortunately, Bill has always claimed not to like it and so I've never made it myself. But I came to find out that Bill assumed all meatloaf was made with ketchup (and for those of you who know Bill, he has a major aversion to condiments of any kind). Well that wasn't the case with my mom's meatloaf and I knew I could make a version he would like.

In that infamous Mario Batali cookbook we use so often, I came across a recipe for stuffed meatloaf that sounded amazing. I tweaked the recipe a bit, so here's my take:

Stuffed Meatloaf
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
3 eggs
Salt and pepper
5 ounces spinach
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 4 pieces
3 thin slices prosciutto
Flour, for dusting
1 cup water
2 fresh thyme sprigs

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine pork, beef, cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs and salt and pepper to taste. Get your hands dirty and combine everything well. Set aside.

Boil a large pot of water. Dunk spinach into water, just long enough to wilt it. Remove to a small bowl. Add carrots to same pot, and boil for 10 minutes. When done, add to bowl with spinach and set aside.

Dust a clean surface with flour and press the meatloaf mixture into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Lay spinach on meat in an even layer, within about a 1/2-inch of edge. Lay prosciutto slices on top of spinach. Lay carrots on top of prosciutto. Starting from a short edge, tightly roll meatloaf, jellyroll-style. Press edges together to seal.

Place a rack in a roasting pan and pour water into pan. Place thyme sprigs under rack. Place meatloaf on rack. Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

I have to say, for a first attempt and a pretty unique take on a classic, this was delish! It got a bit too brown on the outside and formed a drier, thicker crust than I would have liked, which leads me to believe I baked it a few minutes too long. (Although I also think I should have used a fattier beef - I picked sirloin, but something like ground round might have been a better choice.) On the inside, it was moist and tender and yummy! I really liked the addition of the spinach and carrots, but Bill wasn't a fan so I'll have to attempt an unstuffed version next time.

I matched my meatloaf up with mashed potatoes (of course!) and buttermilk biscuits. And here's a mashed potato trick I learned from Betty Crocker today: For garlic mashed potatoes, add 3 cloves of garlic to the pot while your potatoes are boiling, then just mash them along with the spuds when they're done!

While it's fresh in my mind, I'll add my buttermilk biscuits recipe, too. I actually got this recipe from my friend Irene, who sent it to me after seeing all of my cooking posts on facebook. I used to rarely take the time to make homemade biscuits, but this recipe has converted me! I make them ALL THE TIME because they're so good. They originally came from Taste of Home, but I like to call them ...

Irene's Famous Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I used to do this with a fork, but on one of my recent Bed, Bath and Beyond shopping sprees I bought a pastry cutter. It's a good investment, trust me.)

Add buttermilk and stir until moistened and dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll about 1/2-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter, re-rolling scraps as necessary.

Baked on an ungreased baking sheet 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

Once you try this recipe, you'll never make biscuits from a mix again. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I remember a meatloaf type thing I had when I was a really little kid, it had something in the middle of it, and I've spent over twenty years trying to get my mom to remember what the heck it was since she never made it again... this reminds me of it!

    Granted, I am a HUGE fan of ketchup (I could eat it like soup, put half a bottle in the microwave, throw some saltines on the side, and it's the same thing as far as I'm concerned), but this sounds like it doesn't even need it!

    I never stopped to think about the difference between biscuits out of the can vs the ones from a mix. Yeast, right? (bear with my ignorance here, pls!). So these are far easier to make I take it, even if you don't use a mix. I have no doubt they're better this way. Do you ever do mix-ins? Not that Irene's genius, simple ones need them, of course!