Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf

I didn't go into my kitchen this evening with the intention of making meatloaf. I actually didn't have much of a plan at all. I had the idea of wanting to make some sort of casserole perhaps, and somehow that idea evolved into me creating my first-ever meatloaf. My recipe is a hybrid of my own general knowledge of what meatloaf is from watching endless cooking shows, and from quickly consulting a few of my cookbooks once I got hooked on the thought. Here's how it came together.

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf 

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ red onion, minced

1/3 green pepper and 1/3 other coloured sweet pepper, chopped
6 cremini mushrooms, sliced

½ package extra lean ground beef (about 1 ½ cups)
1 egg
1 tbsp barbecue sauce
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp tomato paste or thick marinara sauce
½ cup sour cream
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp black pepper
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Heat the olive oil in a small fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, peppers, and mushrooms and sauté until soft. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Put ground beef into a large bowl. Add the sautéed vegetables, egg, BBQ sauce, mustard, sour cream, breadcrumbs, and herbs and spices. Bring together using the hands into a sticky mixture. If it appears too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
Line a loaf pan with foil. Spoon a little more than half of the meatloaf mixture into the pan and spread it across the bottom and into all corners. Top with the cheese, mounding it in the middle. Cover the cheese with the rest of the meatloaf mixture and smooth the top so the cheese is no longer visible. Bake in a 375oF oven for 35 minutes.

I had some potatoes on hand, so while the meatloaf was in the oven I whipped up a quick mash. Just to tie the whole dish together, I grated some more of the cheese that I stuffed in the centre of the meatloaf and mashed it in with the potatoes.

And there's the finished product! I got three healthy portions out of this meatloaf. (You could easily get four comfortable portions - I just make bigger portions since I'm the only one eating it). The meatloaf was moist and very flavourful with all of the various ingredients I added in. I kept my meatloaf pretty chunky with large vegetable pieces. If you're not as big on the veggies as I am, chop them up quite finely before sautéing them so they won't be as obvious in the finished loaf. I loved how the cheese oozed out of the meatloaf once I cut it into slices, and the bed of cheesy mashed potatoes brought it all together! Not bad for my very first foray into the world of meatloaf.

So yes, as you may have guessed, I'm going the obviously corny route with my tunes tonight. Since my dish is meatloaf, might as well throw up a Meatloaf tune, even though I'm really not that big of a fan. Just for kicks, here's I Would Do Anything for Love.



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