It never ceases to amaze me how when the weather changes so does one’s palate; as in digital shift. For me gone are the days of tossed green salads at home to be replaced by soup. Where I could not bear to turn on the oven for months, I cannot fathom going without eating something warm and soul-satisfying once a chill is in the air.
Though an omnivore I typically don’t eat a lot of red meat. No big thing behind it, it just works out that way. When I had a recent household request for Meatloaf it just felt like, well, so much ‘meat’. I love the classic diner combo with mashed potatoes but it was a bit too much for me edging back into cold weather foods.
Loving anything with Mexican seasonings I pulled up a meatloaf version up from an old local cookbook, Colorado Collage (part of a series from the Denver Junior League) which I adatped to end up with this. This meatloaf is the best of both worlds to me; a good hearty meatloaf but with a Mexican twist I love so much. The recipe makes two meat loaves so is great for a big group, leftovers or to freeze one for later!
In this age where we are madly trying to strip fat from our diets we need to remember much of the flavor in ground meats is FROM the fat! I did not want a meatloaf swimming in fat and elected to taper the amount of fat in the ground beef (extra lean and lean) and let the sausage provide most of the fat along with the cheddar cheese on top. As I wrote it up I wondered about adding in some chorizo for the sausage too!
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
· 1 red pepper, cored and chopped
· 3 large garlic cloves, minced
· 1-2 fresh jalapeno or Serrano peppers, cored and diced (remember to wear gloves!)
· 1-2 tablespoons chili powder (pick the amount of heat you want)
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
· 2 teaspoons ground cumin
· 1 28 ounce can peeled, crushed tomatoes , drained
· 1 pound ground sirloin
· ½ pound ground round or ground chuck
· ½ pound spicy Italian breakfast sausage
· 1 cup dried bread crumbs (if making gluten free use gluten free bread)*
· 2 eggs, lightly beaten
· 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
· 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
· 3 scallions, sliced thinly
*you can always make your own Bread Crumbs by processing dried or stale bread in a food processor until forming crumbs. I do this often with the end of homemade gluten free bread loaves and store them in the freezer for use.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large, heavy pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic, jalapenos or Serrano chiles, and seasonings until beginning to soften and onion becomes translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
3. Add tomatoes and cook at low temperature, covered, for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, sausage, vegetable mixture, bread crumbs, eggs, corn and green onion; mix until fully combined.
5. Divide evenly into 2 9×5 loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes. Drain any juices, spread grated cheddar cheese evenly on the tops of the loaves and bake until melted. Allow to cool slightly before serving (10 minutes).