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Spicy Southwestern Meatloaf

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Serves 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

Three kinds of chiles make this pork and bison meatloaf hot all over: fresh jalapeños and ancho chile powder in the mix, and chipotle chiles in the ketchup glaze. Create your own customized meatloaf recipe with the Recipe Maker.

  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup small-diced red bell pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. medium-coarse white bread, such as Italian or French, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeño pepper (seeded if you like)
  • 1 Tbs. mild chile powder, such as ancho
  • 2 lightly packed tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup mixed with 1 Tbs. pureed canned chipotle in adobo

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, bell peppers, and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until warm.

In a shallow dish that holds it in a single layer, soak the bread in the milk, flipping once, until soggy but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the coarseness and freshness of the bread. Lightly squeeze a handful of bread at a time to remove some of the milk (it should be wet but not drenched). Finely chop and add to the bowl with the onion mixture.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

Add the bison, pork and eggs to the onion mixture. Scatter the cilantro, jalapeño, chile powder, lime zest, and cumin over the meat, and then sprinkle with the Worcestershire, 2-1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Use your hands to gently mix all the ingredients until just combined; try not to compact the mixture as you do this.

Heat the remaining 1 tsp. of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Form 1 Tbs. of the meatloaf mixture into a small patty. When the oil is hot, cook the patty on both sides until cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and other seasonings as needed. Repeat until you're satisfied with the flavor.

Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the baking pan and form into a 10x4-inch rectangular block (it becomes loaf-shaped as it cooks). Spread the chipotle ketchup over the top and lightly down the sides of the meatloaf to glaze it.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the center of the meatloaf, 40 to 55 minutes.

Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board or serving platter with a large spatula and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick slices.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): fat g 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 7; Protein (g): protein g 23; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 14; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 620; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 120; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Like most 60 somethings, I grew up on meatloaf. I still consider it the ultimate comfort food...my husband, does not. Consequently, I never make it unless he is away on business and I can indulge myself. This recipe sounded to me like something that might trick him into thinking it was not just another meat loaf! I was right. I made it accoring to the recipe, substituting ground beef for bison and using both the chipotle glaze and the bacon wrap. This recipe is a winner and I know Tom no longer fears meat loaf!

We made this meatloaf last night and it was great! Neither one of us has made meatloaf for years because it's so often "just okay." This one is spicy but not hot -- the ingredients compliment each other for flavor that is layered and complex. The combination of pork and beef is moist and delicious and the chipotle glaze really set the entire loaf off. It was so wonderful that we're having it for dinner again tonight.

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