Buttermilk Meatloaf

BreadcrumbsButtermilkHorizAltbfLOSometime fairly early in last season’s Next Food Network Star, Mary Beth Albright wowed the judges (and intrigued me) with a meatloaf made with panko crumbs soaked in buttermilk.

Quick like a bunny, I got me to da Google to snag the recipe, and was… thwarted (!) No sign of it appeared on Food Network and I despaired – OK – I was a little bummed. STILL, I contemplated that meatloaf, and wanted that recipe, and so I would go to da Google every now and then to run a search and see what I could see.

BINGO! A search finally yielded The Meatloaf Recipe on Mary Beth’s blog – which is really kinda cunning looking, so I should go back and check it out more often. Her recipe looks fantastic, and I know everyone on the show loved it, and I know it would make me a fine meatloaf, except…

I had some home made seasoned sourdough croutons that were pretty darned tasty, but, ermmm, a bit dense (actually, they could be a danger to dental work), so I planned to run them through the Cuisinart and use them in place of the panko…

and, Mary Beth makes a barbecue sauce glaze for her meatloaf that I am also absolutely certain is just lovely, but, I happen to have a pantry well-stocked with my barbecue sauce all set and ready to go, so I figured I could skip that step…

and, I had a handy tube of the called for good tomato paste in the fridge, but I also had an aging jar of my tangy Catalina dressing, so opted to use that along with the, ermmm, other seasoning adjustments I made…

SO! If you want to try Mary Beth’s very nice looking and, if I recall correctly, episode winning, recipe, click here, otherwise, read on and I’ll go though what I did to adapt it to my larder.

•1-1/2 lb ground beef
•1/2 lb ground pork
•1/3 cup panko crumbs, or sourdough croutons run though the food processor
•1 cup buttermilk
•2 or three small onions
•3 or 4 celery ribs, diced
BreadcrumbsSoakbfLO•2 carrots, peeled and chopped
•1/2 large green pepper, diced
•1 tbsp butter
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1/2 tsp granulated garlic
•2 tsp dried parsley
•1 tsp dried basil
•2 tbsp Catalina dressing (or tomato paste)
•1 cup Iberico cheese, well chopped or grated (Mary Beth called for grated parmesan, but I had a wedge of this really nice Spanish cheese in my bin that needed to be used)
VeggiesSeasoningsPanbfLO•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp pepper

•1/2 pint barbecue sauce

Heat oven to 425º.

Put your crumbs in a bowl, pour the buttermilk over, and set aside while you put the veggies together.

CeleryButtermilkCheesebfLOMelt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high in a large pan, then add the onion, celery, carrots, and green pepper and sauté for about ten minutes until the onions are translucent and the other veggies tender.

Lower the heat and add the seasonings and Catalina dressing or tomato paste and stir to combine.

Remove from heat, allow to cool a bit, and then stir in the breadcrumbs soaked in buttermilk and the grated or well-chopped cheese.

ButtermilkMeatloafFormedPanbfLOMost meatloaf recipes call for a combination of ground beef and pork, or mebbe ground beef, pork, and veal (yummers). I cheated and picked up a couple of packages of ‘meatloaf mix’ at my local market – beef and pork ground together, and in a leak-proof package to boot!

How convenient!

ButtermilkMeatloafGlazedbfLOSo, your veggies and seasonings and stuff are combined, you have your meat all good to go…

Now for the messy bit:

You have to combine all this stuff together with your bare hands to really get everything well and truly mixed. It’s not pretty – it’s really quite squishy, and, if you haven’t pulled the meat out of the fridge to warm up a bit, it’ll be almost painfully cold to work with, but you gotta do it. Having said that, you could run the mixture in batches through your food processor fitted with the ButtermilkMeatloafBakedbfLOmetal blade. You’ll get a smoother, more paté like texture to your meatloaf, but you’ll still need to do some hand mixing to be certain the batches are all well blended back together.

Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and shape your mixture into a loaf down the center. I used a stoneware baker, but a thirteen by nine pan would work as well, just be certain it has a rim, and don’t use a loaf pan – this meatloaf  has a fair amount of fat it’s going to release while cooking that you are going to want to dispose of.

ButtermilkMeatloafPlatebfLOBrush some of your barbecue sauce over the meatloaf and pop into the oven for about an hour. Check on it every twenty minutes or so to drain off the fat and apply more of the glaze – by the time it’s done, you’ll have just the glaze flavored with just a touch of fat in the pan juices to drizzle, if you’d like to.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for ten or fifteen minutes, then slice and serve.

We had ours with some oven roasted new potatoes and my new favorite convenience veggie – canned green beans in a balsamic vinegar reduction with Japanese Seven Spice.

Mmmm, meatloaf Mondays…

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