Monday, January 7, 2013

Mexican Meatloaf

Mexican Meatloaf with potatoes and salad
January always inspires me to cook more interesting and healthy foods. Suddenly the summer looms before me, with all the gardening and outdoor work that accompanies it. I also start feeling deprived of fresh, local fruits and vegetables about now, and start looking for ways to incorporate fresh or stored produce in new ways.

Meatloaf is a favorite around our house. However, the general type of meatloaf we make includes a ketchup-based sauce that is rife with brown sugar and probably contains more calories in it than the rest of the meal put together. We also love Mexican food around here, and when I ran across this recipe for a Mexican meatloaf over at Plan to Eat, I decided to give it a try.

I modified the recipe slightly to reflect the fresh and dried foods I had on hand, and I paired it with "Mexican style" fried potatoes and a fresh salad. While hubby wasn't as happy with it as he could have been, everyone else seemed to enjoy it. Though the original recipe says it serves four, I only added a bit more than called for and it fed seven of us with leftovers!

Ingredients:
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley OR 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder OR 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp tomato powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 lbs ground beef or turkey
Mexi-style potatoes
In a large bowl, crack your eggs and beat them gently. Don't over-mix them. Add the vegetables, herbs and spices, and fold into the eggs. Then slowly pinch small pieces of the ground meat into the egg-vegetable mixture. You'll be tempted to squish it between your fingers, but the original instructions warned not to do that, and I have to agree that the end result was worth the bit of extra time mixing more gently with my hands. Mix until the whole mess is combined well.

Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs over the meat and fold in gently. Repeat with the other half of breadcrumbs, if necessary. Mix only until it's evenly distributed. Form it into a ball and put into a baking dish, or press gently into a greased glass baking dish. You don't want it to be more than about three inches thick so that it will cook evenly. Pour the salsa over the top and distribute over it evenly.

Preheat your oven to 350F, add the meatloaf and bake for one hour. Check how well it is cooked at this point - I found it needed another 15 minutes of cooking. If you use a meat thermometer, it should read 165F when the meatloaf is done.

Mexican meatloaf
To make the potatoes, I diced our long-term storage potatoes into dice sized pieces then boiled them until they were just beginning to soften in the middle. I drained them well while I prepared the pan. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil, butter or bacon grease in a heavy pan and add a bit of diced onion and a bit of garlic. Cook until they're starting to brown a bit, then add the drained potatoes, and a teaspoon each of cumin, salt, pepper, powdered chili, and tomato powder. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, cook the potatoes until they are beginning to turn a bit mushy and the spices are well distributed.

Serve all of the above with a crisp salad, and some Mexican cheese, sour cream and guacamole on the side! If your family prefers hot foods, you can add more chili or red peppers, and use a very spicy salsa as your topping. A couple of drops of Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce for an extra hot treat.

PS: This post was shared over at the Homestead Barn Hop #93 - go have a peek and see if there's something fun and new for YOU to learn! Want to enter your own blog entry? Just click here and follow the instructions!

We're also shared at the Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange #18, which includes all sorts of delicious recipes. Go on over and have a look around, and  you can enter your own recipe by clicking here and following the instructions!

There's also the Winter on the HomeAcre Hop, which I just learned about and shared a few things on! You can enter your wintry homestead blog post by clicking here.

Lastly, we're also over at the Backyard Farming Connection Hop #14, which has tons of great info from a huge number of sources! Check them out and you can enter your own blog entry by clicking here!

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