April 19, 2012

Pork & Turkey Meatloaf

If you're thinking that you've seen this combination of meats from me before, you're right: Pork & Turkey Meatballs is the exact same recipe, so check it out if you would like to make this. The only change is that you're making one big meatball, so to speak, and it takes longer to cook.

I use lean ground turkey thigh and lean ground pork, and cut the meatloaf into 12 slices, effectively making each slice the same food value as one of the meatballs (approximately 133 calories* per slice, if you're counting). It makes a great dinner centrepiece, and the leftovers make predictably delicious sandwiches. In fact, I urge you to make a grilled cheese sandwich in which a very thin slice of this meatloaf is placed between layers of cheese; you will doubtless eat it dangerously fast, if my experience is anything to go by.

For cooking the meatloaf, preheat your oven to 350 F, and shape the meat mixture into a loaf with your hands before placing it gently into a loaf-pan. Bake the meatloaf, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Paint with a little soy sauce or worcestershire sauce, bump up the temperature to 400 F, and bake for another 15 minutes. Carefully remove the meatloaf from the pan (I use two flipper-type spatulas, one on each end) to a warmed plate or a cutting board.

I recommend letting the meatloaf stand for ten minutes when it comes out of the oven before slicing, for optimum slice cohesion. You can tent it with foil if you're worried that it will cool down too much. Slice only what you need right away, and let the rest continue to cool until dinner's over. Then slice the rest, and store how you wish. You'll find the completely cooled meatloaf slices much more neatly and tidily than the first ones.

One of the great things I discovered about this recipe is that it freezes incredibly well. We had a few slices left over after the dinner that you see above, and the aforementioned sandwiches, and I wrapped the slices all together in plastic wrap, which I then bagged up in a freezer bag with the air squeezed out. Two weeks later, we hauled out the bag, defrosted it, reheated the slices on medium power in the microwave, and had a yummy dinner that took very little effort. Somehow, that sort of thing always makes me feel like I'm getting away with something.

What kind of sides you serve with meatloaf is entirely up to your preference. I don't usually go for mashed potatoes, because I don't put a sauce or gravy on the meatloaf. In the picture above, the potato-half you see is a very simple twice-baked potato, wherein the insides of a baked potato were scraped out and mixed with a little monterey jack or edam cheese, some smoked paprika, and a dollop of sour cream. The filling was smoothed back into the baked potato shell, and briefly broiled, topped with a tiny bit more sour cream, and some green onion. You could also go with a nice rice pilaf, or even macaroni and cheese, a creamy orzo side dish, or even french fries. The other side, broccoli, is a no-brainer in our household. Need a veggie? How about broccoli?! We eat a lot of it, either plain steamed with a pinch of kosher salt, or drizzled with a little toasted sesame oil (especially for an Asian-flavoured dinner). In asparagus season, that makes a great choice too, but any veggie side will do: crisp green salad, corn on-or-off the cob, green beans, spicy carrot coins...even green peas, if that's your thing (but I'll pass, frankly). And the end of the day, you know what you like; serve it with this meatloaf.

*calorie information from an online calculator, the accuracy of which I cannot vouch for.

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