Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf

June 13, 2014
Written by Mila Furman, the Girl and the Kitchen

Girl and the Kitchen

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Meatloaf.  A quintessential American comfort food.  Unfortunately, it is typically a dry, rock like loaf, served up for dinner as a last minute and almost a need for nostalgia.  Sadly it is typically chewed up quickly and washed down with a glass of milk.  This is NOT that meatloaf. 
This meatloaf…is awesome.  Really…

This is the meatloaf that June Cleaver served up to her perfect family circa 1950′s America.  You can bet that your hubs will be pleasantly smiling when he strides into the house and the smell of sweetness, rosemary and deliciousness fills his nose and his head with gleeful memories.  And your cheerful children, Timmy and Jenny will run down with smiles adorning their dirt smudged faces, eagerly awaiting their supper.  And you will serve your glorious meatloaf in a beautiful floral dress that hits at the perfect knee length, only complimenting your pearl necklace and clackety kitten heeled shoes.

Go ahead…have a laugh at that one.

Ahhh…we can dream.  In my house…hubs strolls in at 10pm after his long day and long workout and I am running around like a kitchen   chicken with my head cut off trying to finish packing our lunches for the next day and putting my finishing touches on my dinners for the week.  But when this meatloaf comes out of the oven, hubs always stands by the loaf and tears off the crusty little pieces of meat.  Those are his faves.  Crispy, crusty, savory goodness.

This meatloaf was born during my personal American nostalgia period.  I attempted to recreate all of the American favorite food classics.  Meatloaf, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie etc.  And I succeeded with all of them!   However, for some reason… meatloaf took me the longest.  It either crumbled too much.  Or it was too dry or too moist (yes that’s possible).  I finally got the texture down by using a unique combination of ketchup, sour cream and bread crumbs.  I set out to work on the flavor portion of it. I stuck to the classic French holy trinity of mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) and I snuck in some rosemary in there for good measure…which happened to pretty much MADE the dish.  That earthy taste of rosemary paired up with the mild tanginess of sour cream makes for a meatloaf that  is truly unforgettable.

It’s a modern twist to a classic that should not be forgotten.  And what better pairing to go with this than my Crazy Good Mashed Potatoes.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

We start with throwing our carrots, onions and celery into a vitamix or a food processor.  If you are using a vitamix, you are going to want to throw all your veggies in there (slice your onions and carrots in half lengthwise) and fill the container up with water until all the veggies are covered.  Then pulse a few times until everything is finely chopped.  You want this mixture to be fine because you do not want large chunks of vegetables in your meat loaf.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Strain the liquid out of the veggies and place to sweat in a large sautee pan, with 1 tbsp olive oil, over medium heat.  You do not want caramalization, you want them to be nice and translucent.  Don’t forget to season them with some salt and pepper.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

In the meantime. take your rosemary and remove the leaves from the stems and chop up finely.  Add to veggies.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

While the veggies are getting fragrant lets get the meat going.  Add in the bread crumbs to the ground turkey.   By the way, add this to your stand mixer mixing bowl, because later we will be combining all the ingredients in there.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Oh and don’t forget to oil your loaf pan!

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

After about 15 minutes of the veggies total cooking time, go ahead and measure out your sour cream, Worcstershire sauce and ketchup.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Add it to the pan with the veggies.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Mix thoroughly to combine.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Taste and season accordingly.  Remember you are also using this as the main source of seasoning and flavoring for your meat.

Add the meat and bread crumb mixture to a stand mixer along with the veggies.  Mix with paddle attachment until well combined.  You can also do this by hand but I find this is way easier.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Mix only enough to combine.  Do NOT over mix.  Take a small piece and fry it up to taste for seasoning.  Season the meat as necessary.

In another bowl, combine, 1/2 a cup of ketchup and 1/3 a cup of BBQ sauce.  Mix to combine.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Place your meat mixture into the loaf pan and slather the top with the BBQ and ketchup mixture.  You can do so with a pastry brush.  I actually had some meat leftover so I made little mini meatloafs as well :)

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Place loaf pan onto a sheet pan covered with foil in case the meatloaf decides to bubble out a bit.  Fill ANOTHER pan with high sides (a foil pan is perfectly fine) with warm water and place on the oven rack directly BELOW the rack that you will be placing the meatloaf pan onto.  This ensures that your top of the meatloaf will not crack.

I always place a probe thermometer into my meatloaf so that I know when it is done.  When it reaches 165-degrees your meatloaf is done…and glorious.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Here’s another tip.  Let. It. Rest.  Covered with foil.  And if you can, cool it in the fridge and THEN slice it.  You will get perfect even slices that will not fall apart when cutting.  Either way, use a serrated knife to get better slices.  Want to know how restaurants get such beautiful, perfect slices of everything?  Sharp knives and cutting while cool.  Trust me on this one…it’s kind of fool proof.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Did you guys know that this is SUPER freezer friendly?! Make a double batch.  Freeze it up then reheat it in the oven when you are ready to have it for dinner.  Done and done!

By the way…see how perfect those slices are?  Cold slice guys.  Cold slice.  Oh and see how those veggies peek through the meat just the slightest bit?  That’s what we are going for.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf-002

Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds ground turkey or ground beef (I used lean chuck)
  • 1 large yellow onion, placed through the Vitamix
  • 5 ribs of celery, placed through the Vitamix
  • 3 medium sized carrots, placed through the Vitamix
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko)
  • 1 cup ketchup-divided
  • 1/3 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil to sautee

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  2. We start with throwing our carrots, onions and celery into a vitamix or a food processor. If you are using a vitamix, you are going to want to throw all your veggies in there (slice your onions and carrots in half lengthwise) and fill the container up with water until all the veggies are covered. Then pulse a few times until everything is finely chopped. You want this mixture to be fine because you do not want large chunks of vegetables in your meat loaf.
  3. Strain the liquid out of the veggies and place to sweat in a large sautee pan, with 1 tbsp olive oil, over medium heat. You do not want caramalization, you want them to be nice and translucent. Don’t forget to season them with some salt and pepper.
  4. In the meantime. take your rosemary and remove the leaves from the stems and chop up finely. Add to veggies.
  5. While the veggies are getting fragrant lets get the meat going. Add in the bread crumbs to the ground turkey. By the way, add this to your stand mixer mixing bowl, because later we will be combining all the ingredients in there.
  6. Oh and don’t forget to oil your loaf pan!
  7. After about 15 minutes of the veggies total cooking time, go ahead and measure out your sour cream, Worcstershire sauce and ketchup.
  8. Add it to the pan with the veggies.
  9. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  10. Taste and season accordingly. Remember you are also using this as the main source of seasoning and flavoring for your meat.
  11. Add the meat and bread crumb mixture to a stand mixer along with the veggies. Mix with paddle attachment until well combined. You can also do this by hand but I find this is way easier.
  12. Mix only enough to combine. Do NOT over mix. Take a small piece and fry it up to taste for seasoning. Season the meat as necessary.
  13. In another bowl, combine, 1/2 a cup of ketchup and 1/3 a cup of BBQ sauce. Mix to combine.
  14. Place your meat mixture into the loaf pan and slather the top with the BBQ and ketchup mixture. You can do so with a pastry brush. I actually had some meat leftover so I made little mini meatloafs as well 🙂
  15. Place loaf pan onto a sheet pan covered with foil in case the meatloaf decides to bubble out a bit. Fill ANOTHER pan with high sides (a foil pan is perfectly fine) with warm water and place on the oven rack directly BELOW the rack that you will be placing the meatloaf pan onto. This ensures that your top of the meatloaf will not crack.
  16. I always place a probe thermometer into my meatloaf so that I know when it is done. When it reaches 165-degrees your meatloaf is done…and glorious.
  17. Here’s another tip. Let. It. Rest. Covered with foil. And if you can, cool it in the fridge and THEN slice it. You will get perfect even slices that will not fall apart when cutting. Either way, use a serrated knife to get better slices. Want to know how restaurants get such beautiful, perfect slices of everything? Sharp knives and cutting while cool. Trust me on this one…it’s kind of fool proof.
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