It was a Wednesday evening when I got home from a busy day at work and tasted the most savoury meatloaf. This meatloaf was not like any other meatloaf I've tasted. It had spices and just enough heat. It was also served with a very tasty brown rice with red kidney beans. I guess I can call it, meatloaf Haitian-style. It couldn't be better timing. I was craving meat and was famished. It was prepared by a close friend of mine who asked me to guess the recipe. What better challenge than to guess the recipe of a dish that you fell in love with the first time you ate it!
Since I had never prepared meatloaf in my entire life, I had no idea where to start. The only ingredients I knew I needed were meat and bread crumbs. As far as getting the right meat moisture, I called another friend of mine and asked her for a basic meatloaf recipe. I wouldn't call it cheating, but a hint for starters.
The basic recipe calls for:
1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
3/4 cup rolled oats (quick cooking oatmeal - 1 minute, or even 15 minutes will do) *I was quite surprised about this one - because the rolled oats were a healthy substitute for the bread crumbs!*
1 chopped yellow onion
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven at 350F
In a salad bowl, mix all the ingredients.
Pat in the meat mixture in a rectangular baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. You may need 2 baking pans if necessary.
For the topping, mix 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup ketchup and 1tsp dry mustard. Spread evenly over the uncooked meat mixture.
Bake for about 75 minutes or until top starts to brown on outer edges.
I tested this recipe last week and couldn't believe how good it turned out, especially with rolled oats. Now that I had the recipe down packed, I wanted to add a little kick to it....make it spicy.
It really is about having a basic recipe and playing around with it to get the desired flavour.
Instead of beef, I used pork and turkey. Veal works out well too.
In addition, since I've been fishing around for tips to achieve a drop-dead-delicious meatloaf, I was told that using crushed tomatoes from a can, instead of milk, is also a great substitute. You just need a liquid ingredient to moisten the rolled oats (or bread crumbs if it's your preference).
For the topping, I used a ketchup with a twist called Heinz 57 sauce. I omitted the sugar because I find ketchup to be already sweet.
And my friend's verdict?......SUCCESS!!
Preparation: 15 minutes, Baking: 60-75 minutes
Recipe "au pif":
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground turkey (or veal)
1 chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup unsalted crushed tomatoes (from a can)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground chili powder
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup Heinz 57 sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
Preheat oven at 350F.
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients of the meat mix until well incorporated.
In a small bown, mix the topping ingredients, for the spread.
Grease two rectangular baking pans with margarine or butter.
Spread the topping over the meat mixture.
Pop the two loaves in the oven and bake for about 60 to 75 minutes, or until your knife comes out clean and outer edges start to brown.
Serve with a fragranced rice or a side dish of potatoes.
Serves 4-6 people.
Share and enjoy!