Sunday, May 27, 2012

Surprise Layered Meatloaf

Most of the cooking responsibilities fall on Hubby, because he works a couple of blocks away and I commute over 60 miles round trip each day. Also, since we almost always have something to do, or somewhere to go, suppers are typically derived from quick, easy, overly used recipes. So, when my company closed early for the Memorial Day weekend holiday, I decided to surprise my family. As I drove the 30+ miles home, I wracked my brain to come up with something for supper that would:
  • Be different from the same old, same old
  • Include meat and potatoes, so as not to disinterest our finicky, teenage boys
  • Be relatively easy, if not quick
By the time I arrived at the grocery store, I had concocted a new recipe. It was a twist on old favorites that just might be different enough to intrigue the boys and get the family to the dinner table. So, while it doesn't look all that pretty, I highly recommend my new layered meatloaf recipe for the meat and potatoes people in your life. Here's how I did it:

1. I combined about 3 pounds of chopped meat with a cup of breadcrumbs, two eggs and some sea salt and pepper. I tried combining it with a utensil, but if you really want it mixed well, you have to do it with your hands. So, I scraped all the meat off the utensil and did the job right.

2. I spread half the meat mixture in a lasagne pan. I did use a utensil for this. A nylon spoon is great for dipping out the meat mixture. I then used the back of the spoon to spread it evenly in the pan. And then I remembered I'd need to actually cook the meat, so I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.

3. Next, I poured salsa over the first layer of meat. I thought about creating a sweet glaze, like the kind we normally use on top of a garden variety meatloaf, but that would have been boring. My family loves spicy foods, so I thought it would be good to spice up this dish with some medium heat salsa.

4. I then placed the rest of the meat mixture on top of the salsa. However, to ensure the salsa layer and top meat layer didn't get all mixed up, I dropped blobs of meat all over the salsa layer, then pressed the meat down with the back of my nylon spoon. It looked icky, but it worked.

5. I cooked the meat for about 40 minutes. While it was cooking, I made homemade mashed potatoes, which I was going to use for the top layer. I thought I'd be using the leftover baked potatoes for my mashed potatoes. However, the boys had been snacking on them all week. I was left with one leftover baked potato. Luckily, I assumed as much and picked up a few baking potatoes on my way home. I microwaved two more potatoes and then cut them up and added them to the leftover potato pieces. I added some milk and sea salt and whipped them until they were perfectly silky and creamy.

6. When the meat was done cooking, I used a turkey baster to remove about a cup and a half of grease.

7. Next, I spread the mashed potatoes on the cooked meat. I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top. Then I baked it for about 15 more minutes, until the peaks of the potato topping was just beginning to brown and the cheese melted.

The dish, a cross between meatloaf and shepherds pie, was a huge success. I served it with two side dishes:

  • Green Beans & Diced Tomatoes mixed with feta and Parmesan cheeses
  • Mac and Cheese (which I cheated on, as I mixed cooked elbow macaroni with cheese sauce from a jar and then sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top)
When Hubby walked in and found the dining room table set with plates, utensils and a home cooked meal, rather than the pile of bills, receipts, junk mail and other clutter that had been gathering dust on the table all week, he was thrilled. It was a great way to start our long weekend!

1 comment:

  1. HEAVY! Rather than heavenly. Urgh! You sucked nearly 2 cups of grease from it. And that Mac n Cheese "recipe"? I won't tell you what I think about that for fear of receiving death threats.