Meatloaf with Herbs

meatloaf.jpgMy family always just made meatballs instead of meatloaf, so this was something new to me. This recipe is subtly different in a more veggie-centric way, and leans more toward Italian seasonings. The original recipe calls for ground pork sausage, but I find that turkey heavily seasoned with fresh herbs does the job just as well. Making a sort of panade with bread soaked in milk is a tenderizing trick I picked up from Cook's Illustrated, and it works wonderfully here. The topping is from the Cummings family, and while I was initially skeptical about the sour cream with ketchup, it really adds depth without taking over.

    1 cup of finely chopped onion
    1 celery rib, chopped fine
    1 Tbsp minced garlic
    1 carrot, chopped fine
    1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions
    1 tsp unsalted butter
    2 teaspoon salt, less if using sausage
    1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/3 cup ketchup
    1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
    1/2 pound of ground turkey or sausage
    1 cup fresh bread crumbs (2-3 pieces of bread)
    ~1/2 c. milk
    2 large eggs, beaten slightly
    1/4 cup minced fresh herbs - basil, oregano, thyme, sage, parsley

Topping:
1/3 c. ketchup
~1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
~1 Tbs. sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs and set aside.

In a large heavy skillet cook the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and scallions in butter, over medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Cover the skillet and stir occassionally until the carrots are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/3 a cup of ketchup. Cook for 1 more minute.

In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, vegetables, and herbs. Squeeze out excess liquid from the soaked bread and add it to the mix. Form into a loaf and put into a rectangular baking pan with 2-inch high sides. Combine topping ingredients and pour over the loaf.

Bake the meatloaf in the oven for 1 hour.

Serves 4 to 6, with plenty for leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.

Original recipe