Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meat-Full Meal!

For the Meatloaf Connoisseur

Fans of meatloaf will enjoy this iconic American comfort food - with a twist! Since we specialize in the extraordinary at Jungle Jim's International Market, how could we not add a flavor kick to this classic dish?! The dark, rich glaze topping this meatloaf is a bottled balsamic glaze made by Gia Russo. The heady aroma of balsamic vinegar will draw your family and friends to the table to enjoy this easy-to-prepare dinner entree. The perfect combination of lean ground sirloin and ground pork creates a moist meatloaf with a big punch of meaty flavor.

The ingredients for this meatloaf are easy to find on the shelf:  ground beef and pork, pesto, bread crumbs, eggs and sun-dried tomatoes. The prepared pesto is from Stonewall Kitchens. The Cooking School just completed "The Distinctive Flavors of Stonewall Kitchens" class and enjoyed the pesto in the mashed potatoes dish. The bread crumbs are freshly made. If you don't have fresh bread crumbs, you could substitute panko. Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are a good choice here - they will be moist and can be easily blended into the meat mixture without being chewy.

Gently mix the ingredients by hand - don't overmix! Form the ingredients into a 9x5-inch loaf on a foil-lined sheet pan. You may notice that we cover most of our baking sheets with foil - it makes for a quick and easy clean up!

The grease around the pan is a yellowish hue because of the red color of the sun-dried tomatoes. You can drain the excess grease before adding the glaze.

Once the meatloaf is glazed and completely cooked, allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. A side of mashed potatoes and some steamed broccoli would complete this meal and make a healthy, colorful presentation.

Italian Meat Loaf with Balsamic Glaze

Meat Loaf:
3/4 pound ground beef chuck
3/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2/3 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt

2-3 tablespoon prepared balsamic glaze, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line an 11x7-inch shallow baking dish with foil.

Combine all ingredients, except balsamic glaze, in a large bowl and mix gently, but thoroughly with your hands. Form the mixture into a 9x5-inch loaf in the prepared baking dish.

Bake 55 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160° when inserted into the center of the loaf. Remove from oven and spread top with balsamic glaze, if using. Return meat loaf to oven for 3-5 minutes to set glaze. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 4-6

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