Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meatloaf with Tomato Relish & Blue Cheese Potatoes au Gratin

Last night it was time for some classic comfort food. One of my family's favorites is meatloaf (see original recipe below), but I was tired of making the same old thing, so the search for a new meatloaf began. I found some really awesome sounding Mexican meatloafs, which I'll try next time, but this round goes to Tyler Florence. The recipe calls for a mix of ground beef and ground pork, which sounds great to me, but my local grocery store doesn't carry ground pork, what's up with that! So I was forced to just stick with the beef. I should have used an 80/20, I think I went too lean so it was a bit drier than it should have been, but the flavor was really nice and way different than we're used to.

And to totally achieve that comfort food factor, I made a version of Paula Deen's Blue Cheese Potatoes au Gratin...I pretty much follow the directions, just used Golden Yukon potatoes cause that's what I had.

Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish, Tyler Florence

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced
2 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely diced
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (12-ounce) bottle ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks by hand
¼ cup whole milk
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 bacon slices

1. Coat a skillet with a 2-count of oil and place over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for a few minutes to create a base flavor. Throw in the red peppers and cook them for a couple of minutes to soften. Now add the tomatoes; adding them at this point lets them hold their shape and prevents them from disintegrating. Stir in the parsley, ketchup, and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes to pull all the flavors together. Remove it from the heat; you should have about 4 cups of relish.

2. Place the torn white bread in a bowl and add the milk to just barely cover, swish the bread around in the milk and let it sit while you get the rest of the ingredients for the meat loaf together.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°.

4. This is where you get your hands dirty! In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with 1 ½ cups of the tomato relish, the eggs, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture. To test, fry a small "hamburger" patty of the meatloaf until cooked; the patty should hold together but still have a soft consistency. Taste the patty for seasoning.

5. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Transfer the meat mixture to the center of the cookie sheet and form into a log about 9 inches long and about 4 inches wide. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another ½ cup of the tomato relish. Lay the bacon across the top lengthwise.

6. Bake the meatloaf for 1 - 1 ½ hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is firm. Rotate the meat loaf while it's baking every now and then to insure that the bacon browns evenly. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool a bit before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side.

Blue Cheese Potatoes au Gratin, adapted Paula Deen

2 ½ pounds blue potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded Gruyere
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish or similar sized casserole dish.

2. Arrange the sliced potatoes in the prepared dish. In a medium saucepan, saute the minced garlic in butter over medium heat until softened and fragrant. Stir in flour and cook for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the cream until smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes in the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until browned.

Glazed Meatloaf

½ cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard (or 1 Tbs yellow mustard)
1 ½ pounds ground beef (80/20)
1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs (3 slices), less if using prepackaged crumbs
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp beef-flavor instant bouillon

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, 1 Tbs lemon juice and mustard.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the lemon juice, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, onion, beef bouillon, egg, and 1/3 cup of the ketchup mixture. Add ground beef and incorporate.

3. Form meatloaf into a loaf shape on a sprayed baking sheet. Bake 1 hour; pour off fat. Pour remaining ketchup mixture over loaf; bake 10 minutes longer.

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Melissa said...

Would you believe I've only made meatloaf once? I used to hate it as a child. I love it now, but it's something I never think of making! I think I've blocked it due to bad memories. :-D Those potatoes look fabulous!!! I can't wait to try them.

EverydayMama said...

Later I'll post our regular recipe, it is AWESOME! Britney once said that if she had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of her life, that would be it :)

Alisa said...

I heart Tyler Florence.