21 March 2011

a healthier meatloaf

So let me say straight off that I am not a meatloaf person. Okay, honestly, I don't know what a "meatloaf person" is, but I'm pretty sure I'm not one. Put it this way: I didn't know if the meatloaf I made was meatloafy enough, and had to consult Mark, because I've eaten so very little of it in my lifetime. But he assured me that it was not only yummy (which I could figure out for myself), but also what the dish is supposed to taste like, and so here you go...

Oh, also? First real cooking in our new kitchen! Holla! Or don't. I may not be a meatloaf person, but I'm definitely not hip enough to use slang in my blog. Moving on...

I've been on a big comfort food kick lately, and I wanted to make something really homey, something of the sticks-to-your-ribs variety. And meatloaf fit the bill. But, the traditional version is hardly healthy. So. Much. Beef. Fat.

Yeah, that version was not going to happen here. At least not this weekend. :-) Instead, I cobbled together a recipe as a hybrid of Ina Garten's and some from All Recipes and some of my own ideas, and made this combo beef/chicken/turkey meatloaf.

WARNING: This recipe requires quite a bit of raw meat handling, including raw poultry handling, which you know means that I practically scrubbed all my skin off washing my hands every five seconds. If you do this, you should wash your hands liberally along the way too.

Lighter Meatloaf
1 huge white or yellow onion
A clove or two of garlic
Approx 1 lb ground beef (lean, but not too lean)
Approx 1 lb ground chicken
Approx 1 lb ground turkey (lean)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. chicken or beef stock
salt and pepper

Chop up your huge onion. See that one in the middle, above? That's a huge onion. The other one? Too small. A rough chop is fine. Then saute it lightly in your favorite cooking oil or butter (or my favorite: water) until it's translucent and just starting to brown. Then add in your clove or two of garlic, minced, and saute for one more minute. Let it all cool to room temp or just slightly above. Fire up your oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl, take your approximately three pounds of ground meat and prepare to oog yourself out with thoughts of salmonella and camphylobactor, and who knows what else. Using your hands (yes, your hands... I know), lightly mix all of the ground meat together so it's pretty well integrated, being careful not to mush it down. Then add the two eggs, beaten up, along with a few pinches of salt and sugar. Wash hands like crazy.

Add the onion/garlic mixture, the bread crumbs, the Worcestershire sauce and the chicken or beef stock to the meat and egg mixture, and lightly mix with your hands, again working to keep it all fairly light. More hand washing.

Once it's all mixed together nicely, shape it into something resembling meatloaf on an ungreased cookie sheet (not the end of the world if you grease it... just makes it harder to shape since it will slide around).

And then it's time for Ronald Reagan's favorite vegetable: Ketchup. I'm not really a big ketchup fan, but I know that meatloaf requires it, so I found a compromise: reduced-sugar ketchup.

Slather some on the top, slather more if you're adventurous, and then smooth it out. (Hint: the amount I put on there resulted in a very mild ketchup flavor. You could definitely use quite a bit more.)

Pop it in the oven, and take its temperature after about 50 minutes. You're aiming for 160 degrees at the very center, and it will take somewhere between 50 minutes and 1 hour 20 minutes. Then slice it up and watch the boys drool.

And then figure out what the heck you're going to do with all the leftovers!

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  1. I'm not a big meat loaf girl, but it's one entree that always gets finished at my house, even the left overs.

  2. Looks good! I've made this uber-healthy meatloaf from an old Real Simple magazine a few times now, and it's always been a hit. It is mostly ground turkey and way more spinach than you would think: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/turkey-meatloaf-mashed-potatoes-00000000008039/index.html


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