Tomato-Glazed Meatloaf – Smitten Kitchen
For my first Smitten Kitchen recipe, I decided to go with savory. We needed dinner. I actually meant to make the Roasted Fingerling and Carrot Coins, but then I decided we needed a main course, and by the time I figured that out, it was too much food to have both. So instead we had the Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves.
They were supposed to be made with brown butter mashed potatoes, but I lost a little momentum by then, so I just made regular mashed potatoes, with the yukon gold potatoes I had been planning to use for the roasted fingerlings. I’ll make the brown butter ones for another post.
First was the glaze. Surprisingly easy, although I never did get it to “simmer” – so I just heated it up for a few minutes and set it aside.
Then the breadcrumbs. This was actually a serious leap of faith. I almost used canned because I completely did not believe this would work. Every time I’ve seen home-made breadcrumbs in a recipe, it’s required baking or drying out the bread first, then crumbling. This recipes just says to take two pieces of sandwich bread and stick them in a food processor.
Between my love of my food processor and my faith in Smitten Kitchen, I gave it a shot. It was a miracle – these went from being fresh potato hot dog buns to being fresh potato breadcrumbs in about 2 minutes of pulsing. Crazy!
They didn’t mush together or glob like I thought they would at all – they stayed nice and light and fluffy.
For my next trick, I decided that where the recipe said the vegetables should be finely chopped, I could just do that in the food processor, too. I did them one by one, because I was afraid of over-chopping anything. I also went a little overboard on the carrot. (What exactly does “medium” mean, anyway?)
[As an aside, I have discovered the most amazing thing. I react really really strongly to chopped onions, and usually it incapacitates me two or three times while I’m trying to cut onions. But the last time I made something with onions, I had an epiphany! (Yes, another one.) I found Calin’s racketball goggles in the closet, which are hard plastic and don’t have a seal around the eyes (I was looking for swimming goggles, but failed), but they do cover close enough to the face to create a substantial barrier against the onion fumes. I put them on, and low and behold, I can now chop onions without dying!]
Here are the chopped carrot, celery, garlic and onion in their very own bowl. Yes, I did all of this in the food processor. So easy – I just chopped them into large chunks first, and then stuck them in. I kept a close eye to make sure I didn’t accidentally cream them, but other than that it was so simple.
Once the veggies were chopped, the recipe said to brown them a bit, so I spent some quality time stirring and smelling some fabulous veggie-cooking smells.
Once the veggies were browned, I mixed them in with the breadcrumbs. I generally do this kind of mixing by hand – I find it’s much easier to get things blended well by hand than with a fork.
Then the rest of the ingredients went in. This is just the wet stuff; I added the meat, too, but by that point my hands were too messy to document. We were using ground turkey instead of ground beef, and it comes in 1 1/4 lb packages. At first I tried to just use one, but it was clearly not enough when the recipe called for 2 lbs of beef, so I used another whole package (I had gone overboard on the carrot, after all).
It worked out just fine, except that I ended up having to make two pans of meatballs. Instead of 12, we made 17.
I glazed them with the tomato glaze and stuck them in the oven to cook.
While we were waiting, I also made some parmesan asparagus as an appetizer. (Toss the asparagus with olive oil and arrange loosely on a baking sheet; bake at 350 or 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the edges look crispy. Toss with parmesan cheese and serve.)
When the meatballs came out, I checked to make sure they were cooked through. Especially because of the tomato paste mixed into the meat, it’s very hard to tell just by color, so temperature is important. Unfortunately, because the meatballs are so small, they didn’t actually hold all of that heat. By the time I got a read, they were down to 145 degrees rather than 160.
But they were cooked, and they were delicious, and I served them with my very own cheater mashed potatoes. (Cut up baby potatoes into small chunks. Boil for ~10 minutes or until you can easily stick a fork into them. Drain, then dump back into the pan. Add butter, milk, salt and pepper, and mash until creamy.)
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, whisking well.
- Simmer, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Set aside.
- 2 slices sandwich bread, torn up
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium stalk celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
- ~2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, and more to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Set the oven at 350 degrees.
- Tear the bread into chunks and then pulse it in a food processor into breadcrumbs.
- Transfer breadcrumbs to a large bowl.
- Pulse the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in the processor and until finely chopped.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom.
- Add the vegetable mixture, salt, and pepper.
- Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown.
- Mix the vegetables into the breadcrumbs.
- Add the meat, tomato paste, paprika, mustard, and Worcestershire.
- Stir with a fork or mix by hand until thoroughly blended.
- With wet hands, form the mixture into meatballs (~12 at 3 inches each if you only used 2 lbs of meat; we accidentally made 17).
- In the 9×13 baking dish, space meatballs so that they are not touching.
- Brush each one with a teaspoon or so of the tomato glaze.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until they are cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should register 160 to 165 degrees; my meatballs were not big enough to hold that much heat once they came out of the oven, so mine were around 145 degrees).
- Serve with additional glaze.