A Meatloaf Fit for Champions

A Meatloaf Fit for Champions
Editor

Thinkstock/iStockphoto

Lydia Shire, the esteemed Boston-based chef whose Scampo and Towne Stove & Spirits are two of Beantown's best and most original restaurants, loves NFL football as much as she loves full-flavored food. "Yesterday was the start of NFL Wild Card Weekend," she wrote to me in early January. "You know what a fan I am. I took yesterday off to watch and cooked something I probably have not cooked in 25 years — MEATLOAF!!! Yes, I was craving meatloaf (no fancy restaurant food here). It was so damn good. I wrote out the recipe for friends who came over." With little prodding, Shire agreed to share it with us. If you're looking for something a little more complex (and unexpected) than chili and wings for your Super Bowl viewing party — or if you just like good meatloaf, any time at all — you'll love Shire's take on this American classic.

Ingredients

  • large white mushroom caps, minced
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4  Cups  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7  Tablespoons  butter
  • 1/4  Cup  Amontillado sherry or cream sherry
  • 4 1/2  Pounds  ground hamburger beef, 85 percent lean
  • 1 1/2  large Spanish onions, diced
  • leeks, white part only and minced
  • red jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • One  8-ounce package bacon, blanched in boiling water and then cooled under cold running water
  • large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • red jalapeños, roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • handful curly parsley, chopped
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • carrot, grated
  • 10  slices white bread, crusts removed and processed
  • 2  Tablespoons  crushed cumin seed
  • 1/3  Cup  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2  Cup  ketchup
  • 1/4  Cup  Colman's dry mustard
  • 2  Tablespoons  cider vinegar
  • 1/2  Cup  brown sugar
  • large Spanish onion, sliced into thick rings
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

In a small sauté pan, heat ¼ cup of the extra-virgin olive oil with 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the mushrooms and garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook until the mushrooms are dry, about 8 minutes. Add the sherry and let it reduce until dry, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked mushrooms and garlic to a large bowl with the hamburger meat, but do not mix.

In a large sauté pan, heat the rest of the extra-virgin olive oil with the rest of butter. Add the onions, leeks, and diced jalapeños and sauté slowly until they have caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Using a grinding attachment to a stand mixer or a meat grinder, grind the cold bacon with the roasted peppers and roasted jalapeños. Add to the top of the hamburger meat, but still do not mix. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, the cilantro, and the grated carrot. Next add the breadcrumbs, the cooled onions, the cumin, and the Worcestershire sauce. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper, and now, mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Cook a piece of the meatloaf mixture to check the seasonings; you want the taste to "jump out at you."

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Arrange the meat in a loaf shape on a large, greased roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, dry mustard, cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, and brown sugar and pour over the meatloaf. Combine the onion rings with the tablespoon of parsley and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil and scatter on top of the meatloaf. Bake in the oven until cooked through or "set," about 40 minutes. A good way to test if the meatloaf is done is to use a metal skewer and insert it into the center to make sure it is very warm. Once the meatloaf is cooked through, broil it for 1-2 minutes so that the ketchup sauce and onions are nicely toasted.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
63g
90%
Sugar
16g
18%
Saturated Fat
19g
79%
Cholesterol
177mg
59%
Carbohydrate, by difference
35g
27%
Protein
49g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
27µg
4%
Vitamin B-12
6µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
4mg
5%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
18µg
20%
Calcium, Ca
98mg
10%
Choline, total
161mg
38%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Fluoride, F
57µg
2%
Folate, total
22µg
6%
Iron, Fe
9mg
50%
Magnesium, Mg
64mg
20%
Niacin
12mg
86%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
482mg
69%
Selenium, Se
42µg
76%
Sodium, Na
759mg
51%
Water
186g
7%
Zinc, Zn
12mg
100%

Meatloaf Shopping Tip

Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.

Meatloaf Cooking Tip

The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.