Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Anti-Turkey!

After last Thursday's turkey fest, about the last thing I wanted to consider for our Sunday dinner party with friends was something fowlish. I figured what would take the taste of too much turkey out of my mouth better than an old fashioned meatloaf? Meatloaf...the anti-turkey! Perfect. One of the greatest inventions ever, ground beef, paired with ground veal, chopped veggies, herbs, and bread crumbs. Plus for a crowd this is one of the best make-ahead dishes that you can pop in the oven an hour ahead of time so you have plenty of time to prepare snacks and make sure there's enough alcohol around to slake the seemingly unending thirsts of your friends. Or maybe that's just the unending thirsts of my friends (btw- our recycler hates dinner party night at 1309. It's like how many empty wine can fit into one recycling bin!!). You know what I mean. This was a hit, with some garlic mashed spuds and pan roasted brussel sprouts, plus we had a first course of apple-fennel soup and w made a fabulous pumpkin mousse for dessert....more on those tomorrow!

Okay, I know it's a half-assed picture, but the meatloaf is fucking awesome, I promise!!

This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown of Food TV fame. It is a regular in our home rotation, and the best thing? It makes killer meatloaf sandwiches the next day!!


Good Eats Meat Loaf
adapted from Alton Brown

6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and broken
3 whole cloves garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
18 ounces ground beef 15% fat
18 ounces ground veal
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

For the glaze:
1/2 cup catsup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.

Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Place on middle rack in oven. The meatloaf is done when an instant read thermometer reads 155*.

Combine the catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.

** cooks note: the meatloaf can be made several hours ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Take out 45 minutes before baking.

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