Friday, April 29, 2011

Alternative Meatloaf

Alternative Meatloaf
 Ready to Bake, No Pan, Drizzled with Molasses

This recipe started out as beef kabobs appetizers from The Mayo Clinic Cookbook, but became one of our favorite, alternative, meat loaf recipes. By alternative, I mean non-traditional, the way that music is alternative. This is not your childhood meatloaf, however, children will probably like it.

My notes say that the stars lined up during the summer of 2005, when Christine was visiting us at the lake. We invented it together from what we had on hand. No breadcrumbs, but I had a box of grouts (buckwheat kashi), for example.  I distinctly remember when she said, "Let's put molasses on top." She said that she learned to put molasses on meatloaf from Laddie. It was brilliant. It makes this dish.

Christine also showed me how to cook a meatloaf without a loafpan. Also brilliant! So, I will show you, in case you have never tried to make a free-standing meatloaf, sans pan.

Alternative Meatloaf
invented by C & B, summer of 2005

1 large onion, chopped
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 cup buckwheat groats (kashi)
1.5 pounds very lean ground beef (or a mix of beef, pork and veal)
1/4  to 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
2 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cardamon
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
1 egg, lightly

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil.  It is better use one with a rim, unlike I did, to minimize spills. 

Saute onions lightly, add garlic at the end and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts,

and add groats, other spices to large bowl.

Add the cooled onion mix.

Add the cooled pine nuts.

Loosely combine with a spatula, then add egg to bind the whole thing together.

Turn out on to a shallow baking pan and form a free-standing loaf.

Drizzle with molasses.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about 1 1/4 hours or until 180 degrees.

 Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Use that time to make your sides -- like green beans and corn.

Then slice and serve.

David was over for dinner and loved it, and went back for seconds.

I hope you will try it!  The spice mix is unusual, a nice change from traditional meatloaf. And the pine nuts add great texture and flavor and are worth the cost.  Can you believe how expensive pine nuts are these days?


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