Friday, February 25, 2011

Homemade Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf with Asparagus
(sorry no mashed potatoes; photo taken w/ iphone)

Mmmm... meatloaf. Good meatloaf is very hard to find and since its one of my favorite comfort foods, I decided to make it myself. Normally, meatloaf is made with ground beef and ground pork (and sometimes with veal), but I thought I would make it with turkey - the healthier alternative. This will be my first time making turkey meatloaf, so this should be interesting.

I found a recipe on the foodnetwork and included it below.

A few comments about the turkey meatloaf recipe:

- I didn't want to make 5 pounds of turkey meatloaf, so I cut the recipe in half.

- I cooked the onions as noted below, but its a bit irritating to wait for it to reach room temperature to mix. I've seen Paula Deen cook meatloaf without pre-cooking the onions, so I wonder if this is a necessary step considering the onions will likely cook during the baking time.

- Since the ingredients were cut in half, you should still make sure the meat reaches 160 degrees. If you don't have a meat thermometer, like me (added to the shopping list), another way to check is cutting into it after 1.25 hours to see if the turkey meat is white and firm in the middle like it is around the edges. (Note: when I checked the meatloaf, there was this yellow-white liquid that formed on the top - yuck, right? Yes, but its the turkey fat - i just scooped that off the top and put it back in)

- Kethcup on top of meatloaf - when I saw this - I thought, really? That's it... I followed the meatloaf recipe this time; however, next time, I might mix the ketchup with some bbq sauce to make the crust "sweeter" or A-1 sauce to make it "tangier" (note: after tasting it, i was surprised that the ketchup alone wasn't bad)

- Recipe says to place the meatloaf in a rectangular shape on an ungreased sheet pan -- I opted to place it on a meatloaf/bread pan - but if you place it on an ungreased pan, it will be easier to coat the meatloaf with the ketchup and easier to cut into the middle to see if its cooked

Last Minute thoughts:

- this definitely needs a sauce on top of it -- I used more ketchup at the end, but you can make a simple concoction with ketchup, brown sugar, dried mustard, nutmeg and butter like in this video.
- You can add Turkey Bacon to the top of the meatloaf.

  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 5 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
  • 3 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup ketchup


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.)

Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.

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