Friday, December 14, 2007

Dark Days Challenge/Every Thursday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and butternut squash

I like to cook. Love it, really. But even so it's nice to have something in the freezer for those busy days when I'm getting home too late to start from scratch or just don't feel like it. One of my go-to meals is meatloaf, which I usually serve once a week with the mashed potatoes I put up while potatoes were in season and the butternut squash I stocked up on in October. (I'll post my make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe in a future post.)

I generally make four batches of meatloaf at a time and produce five slightly-smaller-than-usual loaves with them, as we aren't huge eaters at my house. (My husband and son are lobbying for larger loaves to facilitate leftover production, as this is one of their favorite meals.) Last Thursday we ate the last of the meatloaves I had in the freezer, so yesterday I made up another batch. This recipe is adapted from Pam Anderson's The Perfect Recipe.


2 T olive oil
4 c chopped onions
8 garlic cloves, pressed (if you don't have a garlic press, mince)
8 eggs
1 1/2 T dried thyme
1 T salt
2 t ground pepper
1 1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t hot sauce
2 c plain yogurt
4 pounds ground beef
4 pounds ground pork
2 2/3 c panko breadcrumbs (if you can't find panko, substitute quick oats)
1 1/3 c minced fresh parsley

2 1/2 pounds of bacon, divided into 1/2-pound portions and wrapped for the freezer.

Heat oil and saute onions and garlic five minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcester- shire, hot sauce, and yogurt, whisking to blend well. Add to meat in a very large bowl along with breadcrumbs, parsley, and onions/garlic. Mix gently with a fork until evenly blended.

Divide into 5 portions, weighing to even them out. (If you don't have a kitchen scale, just eyeball it.) Form into loaves and wrap tightly in foil.

Package each loaf with a half-pound portion of bacon and freeze.

On serving day:

Thaw meatloaf and bacon. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Wrap a cooling rack in aluminum foil and poke the foil full of 1/8" holes in an area larger than the size of the loaf. Set the rack on the cookie sheet and center the loaf over the holes.

Make glaze:

1/8 c chili sauce
1 T sriracha sauce (this is usually in the asian section, or you can make your own.)
2 T brown sugar
2 t cider vinegar

Mix together well.

Brush glaze over meatloaf. Cover glazed loaf completely with bacon, using toothpicks to secure the ends. Insert thermometer and bake at 350 until loaf registers 160, about 45 - 50 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before removing thermometer (if you remove the thermometer too soon, you'll lose a lot of juice), then slice and serve.

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