It should be of no surprise to anyone that the term “gourmet meatloaf recipe” appears nowhere in any cookbook. And yet, that was exactly what I found myself trying to find just two weeks ago.
Through a series of unfortunate events, I ended up needing to cook up several pounds of ground meat. It started with my wife. She wanted to make meatloaf and so pulled a four pound package of ground beef out of the freezer to thaw.
That a lot of meat for one meatloaf. She assured me she wasn't going to use all of it for meatloaf, but that she would, indeed, be cooking.
After four days she still hadn't made any meatloaf and I had four pound of thawed ground beef sitting in my refrigerator.
This was no surprise to me, of course. My wife always has great ideas that involve cooking. The trouble begins after it leaves the freezer. Or the shelf. Or the refrigerator. Or the store. She may want to make something that requires more than a few minutes in the microwave, but when it comes to actually doing it, her follow through is a little poor.
This time, I was just as forgetful. I'd gotten some frozen ground turkey and ground elk meat from my brother during the same time. By the time I'd gotten home with the goods, I'd forgotten about them. They spent several hours thawing in the car trunk. Fortunately it was cold day so none of it had completely thawed, but most of it was softening enough I didn't want to try and refreeze it.
So, between my wife and I we had seven pounds of meat we needed to use. Fast.
Two pounds we browned and froze for use in sauces and soups, later. The other five we turned into meatloaf.
Over a period of five days I cooked, and ate, three different meatloaf recipes. I'm so sick of meatloaf I can barely blog about it.
The results were varied, ranging from surprisingly good, to just passable. I made most of them with a mixture of ground beef and chicken. I like how the chicken lightened the flavor of the beef. One was a mixture of elk and chicken. The rich flavor of the elk meat lent quite a nice touch to an otherwise bland recipe.
The recipes came from four different sources:
Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbooks
Mormon Cooking Authentic Recipes
Mormon Family Cookbook
Favorite Brand Name 4 Ingredient Cookbook
I found a fifth meatloaf recipe in the Lion House Classics cookbook, but the recipe seemed so bland I didn't try it.
None of them included ground chicken or elk, but that's what I had on hand so, I used it.
The family favorite turned out to be the cheese stuffed meatloaf recipe from the 4 Ingredient Cookbook. I thought it was good, but I've got some ideas on how to make it even better. As soon as I can get myself to cook meatloaf again, I'll share them with you. Assuming they turns into a truly gourmet meatloaf.
Photo by Peter Hellebrand
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