Meatloaf with Spicy Barbecue Glaze

The staples in my house growing up were milk, bread and meatloaf. That’s right – meatloaf. It wasalways in the weekly dinner rotation, and to this day it holds a special place in my heart (and on my plate).Meatloaf tends to get a bad rep as being dense and flavorless, but I argue that people who don’t like it just haven’t tasted a good one.While it does take time to cook, the prep is quick and painless andit’s a great source of protein.

There are two different meatloaf camps: those who swear byketchup and barbecueand those who prefer itcovered in brown gravy. My family rests firmly on the ketchup side. While I always enjoyedthe meatloaf my Mom used to make, I also love to experiment with differentrecipes.

Mom’s meatloaf was always the same: ground beef and a list of ingredients that never changed. This was in no way a bad thing. It meant that no matter what, dinner was going to be good.

But for this meatloaf,while the method is the same as my Mom’s,I’veadded (and changed) some of the ingredients. Traditionally, meatloaf is made with ‘meatloaf mix’ which is a combination of ground beef, pork and veal. Many people, like my Mom, just stick with ground beef. I decided to makemy meatloaf a little healthier, while maintaining all of the flavor. I cut out theveal, keptthe pork, and traded the beef for turkey. I also decided to make my meatloaf with a barbecue glaze.

The great thing about meatloaf is its versatility. The ingredient options are limitless and can be changed to suit your family’s tastes.

For theversion I described above, here’s what you’ll need:

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grab an onion. Cut the onion in half through the root end.Slice off the top end of the onionand remove the outer papery layer. Depending on the size of your onion, you may only need to use half. I had a rather large onion soI savedthe other half foranother recipe.

Using the largest side of a box grater, grate the onion into a largebowl.I find that grating the onion, as opposed to just dicing it, turnsit into a juicy pulp, which will add a great deal of moisture to the meatloaf. Treating the onion this way will also make it virtuallyimperceptible toself-proclaimed ‘onion haters,’ or picky kids (and adults). I also do this with all of my burgers and when making meatballs.

Note: Be careful with the grater. It is very easy to scrape a finger or thumb while grating anything andespecially easywhen you’re grating something slippery.

Add one egg to the grated onion.If you’reusing a large amount of meat and splitting the mixture into two loaves, add an extra egg to the mixture. It helps with keeping everything together so it doesn’tfall apart.

Next, adda quarter cup of ketchup.

Add a quarter to half a cup of barbecue sauce, depending on your taste. I usuallymake my own sauce soI can control the amount of sugar and the flavors in general, but hereI used a bottled sauce that had a tangy, sweet flavor.

Next, add two to three teaspoons ofWorcestershiresauce. Worcestershire sauceis a fermented liquid condiment that includes a long list of ingredients. Pretty much any dish involving ground meat gets Worcestershire sauce when I’m cooking. It’s great in burgers, chili, sloppy joes, and so on. Buy it, try it, love it.

Next add a teaspoon of liquid smoke (one of the best inventions ever).Liquid smoke addsthesmokey flavor you would get with awood burning grill. I always add it to my burgers.

To spice things up a bit, I added three tablespoons of a seven pepper spice blend. If you don’t like spice, a more tame version isMontreal Steak.

Mix all of the ingredients together before adding the meat.This allows for a much easier timedistributingall of the ingredients throughout the meat and willcreate a less dense meatloaf.

Once the ingredients are mixed, chop up some fresh parsley and add it to the mixture. Many people will argue that Italian flat leaf parsley is superior to curly leaf parsley. In my opinion, they’repretty identical in flavor. Curly leaf is a lot easier to chop up, so that’s why I use it.

Now that all the ingredients are combined, it’s time to add the meat. I used a pound each of ground turkey and ground pork.

Add a quarter to half a cup of breadcrumbs to the mixture. The breadcrumbs help to bind the meatloaf together and to absorb juices released during the cooking to keep the meatloaf moist. I used Italian seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs, but you can use whatever you have on hand (homemade are great!).

Mix everything together. If the meatloaf still feels too wet, addmore breadcrumbs. You don’t want the meatloaf to feel completely dry, but it needs to be dry enough for the meatloaf to stick together. Your mixture should look like the picture below.

Once the meat is mixed you can either shape it into a loaf and place on a baking sheet or you can put it in a loaf pan which I did here:

Put the meatloaf in the oven.

While the meatloaf is cooking, you can make the barbecueglaze. Pour about a cup and a half of barbecue sauce to a mixing bowl.Add a teaspoon of liquid smoketo the barbecue sauce.

Add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.

Addthree or four teaspoons of the seven pepper spice blend. Spicy is good.

Lastly, adda squeeze of honey and a few tablespoons of ketchup.

After about 30 minutes, pull the meatloaf out of the oven and pour on some of the barbecue sauce. Put the meatloaf back in the oven and continue to cook.

The meatloaf will need to cook throughfully because there is poultry involved. It must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It is wise to invest in a kitchen/meat thermometer because it comes in very handy when making poultry. It is also a great tool to have to ensure that you don’t overcook meats that you want to be medium rare as opposed to well done.

Once the meatloaf is fully cooked, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for around 10 minutes. You can cover it with foil if you’re worried about it not staying hot. Letting meat rest before you eat it is essential to ensuring the juiciest and mostfinished product possible. Resting allows the meat’s juices to redistribute. If you cut into any meat right after it is cooked all of the juices will come gushing out and the rest of the chicken, steak, etc. will be left dry.

After the meatloaf has rested, slice it up and serve it with the extra barbecue sauce.

Enjoy!

Meatloaf with Spicy Barbecue Glaze

1lb ground turkey

1lb ground pork

1 small onion, grated

1 egg

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 to 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp liquid smoke

3 tbs seven pepper spice blend

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Barbecue Glaze

1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tbs seven pepper spice blend

1 tbs honey

2 tbs ketchup

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the onion in half through the root end.Slice the top end of the onion off and remove the outer papery layer. Using the largest side of a box grater, grate the onion into a bowl big enough to mix the meatloaf in.To the grated onion, add one egg. Add in the of ketchup, barbecue sauce,Worcestershiresauce, liquid smoke, and seven pepper blend. Mix ingredients together.

Chop up some fresh parsley and add it to the mixture. Add in the ground turkey, ground pork and breadcrumbs and mix until all ingredients are combined, making sure not to over-mix.

Once the meat is mixed shape it into a loaf and place it in a loaf pan, making sure it is even spread out in the pan. Put the meatloaf in the oven.

While the meatloaf is cooking, you can make the barbecueglaze. Mix together all glaze ingredients and set aside. After about 30 minutes, pull the meatloaf out of the oven and pour on some of the barbecue sauce. Put the meatloaf back in the oven and continue to cook. Once the meatloaf is fully cooked, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for around 10 minutes.

Slice the meatloaf up and serve it with the extra barbecue sauce.

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