Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No Mystery Meat Here


I know a lot of people have hangups about meatloaf.  Maybe that's understandably so.  Way, way back when, it used to be called Mystery Meat.  Lunch ladies served it up in cafeterias.  Moms made these strange loaves that kids didn't quite get.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I would eat meatloaf.  My children are still skeptical of meatloaf.  But I keep on making it and they keep on eating it.  But there is no Mystery Meat here.  It's just plain old ground beef and ground pork.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

If you've read many of my posts, you know by now that I like to put my own twist on dishes.  And you'll know that I'm from Texas and a huge Tex-Mex fan.  I've ranted on about how Tex-Mex food is a real cuisine and it should be taken seriously.  I won't rant now.  I just wanted to remind you of my feelings on it.  Recently I made a Poblano Mac & Cheese that was to die for.  It was a huge hit at home and at work where I shared the leftovers.  So what better protein to put with that than Tex-Mex Meatloaf.  There are a lot of ingredients in this, but you really just throw it all in a bowl, mix it up, cook up a quick sauce, and throw it in the oven.

Now, I don't like crunchy vegetables, so I took the extra step of sauteeing the bell peppers, onions, and jalapenos.  But you can totally skip that step if you're okay with crunchy veggies.  It's a personal preference thing. Even with the sauteeing, it's still pretty quick to throw together. And the sauce is so yummy I could eat it with a spoon!  Oh, and by the way, I didn't tell you the best part.  There is cheese in the middle of the meatloaf! Are you excited yet?

TEX-MEX MEATLOAF
FOR THE MEATLOAF:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chili powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T cumin
One package McCormick's Chipotle Pepper Marinade
1 chipotle in adobo, chopped
1/2 C salsa
1/2 C plain breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 C shredded Pepper Jack cheese

FOR THE SAUCE:
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 T garlic powder
Salt & pepper
1 T minced onion flakes

For the sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients into a pot.  Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If cooking the veggies, drizzle some olive oil into a skillet.  Cook the onion, bell pepper, and jalapenos until tender.  Mix the veggies and remaining meatloaf ingredients except the cheese together by hand.  Place half of the meat mixture into a loaf pan.  (You can also just do it free-form on a sheet pan.) Spread the cheese on top of the meat mixture.  Top with the remaining meat mixture.  Pour the sauce all over the top.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until done all the way through.

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