If you hear that meatloaf is going to be served for dinner tonight, do you cringe or smile? I must say that I doubt too many people cheer when they see meatloaf gracing their dinner table.
Being a foreigner here in the US, my mother took on the challenge of the meatloaf and made it for dinner when I was growing up. I was never a real fan for this dish. So when I did decide to make meatloaf, I decided it needed a big change.
The story behind the iconic meatloaf
Despite what we may think, meatloaf is not an American dish. Although almost every country around the world has a version of this dish, its origins are credited to the Germans.
It is basically a dish of ground meat shaped into a bread loaf and cooked in a loaf pan. Slices are cut, like bread, and served. This dish became popular in the US as the German immigrants made it in the New World.
Meatloaf became popular during the Great Depression as it was a budget friendly meal that uses an inexpensive type of meat and leftover ingredients. Grains and bread were mixed into meatloaf to further bulk up the dish. A tomato sauce is poured over it to make it more juicy and flavorful.
The chorizo meatloaf
I always thought that meatloaf was rather bland and boring. In my opinion, it needed a huge flavor boost. I saw inspiration on the television as Emeril added chorizo to his meatloaf. What a fabulous idea!
The base of the meatloaf is a combination of ground beef and ground pork. But I have frequently made this dish with just ground beef. Onions, bell peppers, parsley and garlic are mixed in for more flavor.
The choice to add breadcrumbs or not is up to you. The addition lightens up the dish, in terms of keeping it from becoming a dense brick of meat. Breadcrumbs or moist bread is added to meatballs for the same reason.
Emeril added the chorizo in the center of the meatloaf. So when you sliced into it, you would have a circle of chorizo in the center. I frequently mix the chorizo in with the rest of the ground meat so that the chorizo flavor can disperse throughout the meatloaf.
Feel free to choose either methods of incorporating the chorizo.
The final touches to meatloaf with chorizo
This monster of a meatloaf doesn’t fit in a small loaf pan, so form it into a log on a baking sheet. And now comes the sauce. Ketchup? Tomato sauce? Barbecue sauce?
For me it was a no brainer. I like spicy food and I chose a nice spicy chorizo for my meatloaf. I decided to add smokiness to the meatloaf by mixing in some chipotles in adobo sauce with ketchup.
If you have never tried chipotles in adobo sauce, it’s a wonderful condiment where a little goes a long way. The adobo sauce has a deep maroon color to it due to the chiles mixed in. Adobo sauce also has a wonderful smokiness about it.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2 TBS finely chopped parsley
- 2 garlic minced cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 lb smoked chorizo sausage, casing removed
- 1/4 cup chopped chiles in adobo sauce
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Apply non-stick spray to a large roasting pan.
- In a large bowl mix together ground beef, ground pork, onions, bell peppers, parsley, garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
- Pat half of the meat mixture into a rectangle about 9x4 inches onto the prepared roasting pan.
- Layer chorizo in the center of the rectangle
- Mold the remaining meat mixture around and over the chorizo to cover it completely.
- In a small bowl, combine chipotles in adobo sauce with ketchup and pour over the meat loaf.
- Bake in the over for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with the pan juices.
- With a large spatula, carefully transfer the meat loaf to a serving platter and serve.
You can also mix the chorizo in with the ground meat mixture.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 604Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 1328mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 44g