Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meatloaf with Corn Chips and Chipotle Ketchup

I guess you could class this as "southwestern" cuisine, although it's the sort of faux-mexican style dish that ends up falling into a classification all its own. The flavor profile reminded me of the tacos my mom used to make when I was a kid - ground beef, cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce and store-bought hard taco shells. I held back on adding too much spice, because a meatloaf isn't really supposed to bring the heat in my eyes. The end product was a little dry, though when I made sandwiches the next day the meatloaf seemed a bit juicer than before. Two adjustments I would make: add more liquid to the recipe and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into it. Here's the recipe as I made it, for the sake of posterity.


1/2 white onion, diced (should yield 1 cup)
1 poblano chili, deseeded and diced
2 clobes garlic, minced
2 lbs. ground beef
8 oz. tomato sauce
3/4 cup crushed corn chips
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1.5 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For the chipotle ketchup:
1 cup ketchup
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce


Over medium heat, toss a spoonful of bacon fat into a skillet and cook the poblano and onion until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Place mixture in a large bowl. Place corn chips in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin/frying pan/your forehead to pulverize until they're the size of bread crumbs. Add to the bowl along with all the other ingredients for the meatloaf. Mix with your hands until everything is incorporated. To test the seasoning, grab a small piece of the mixture, re-fire up the skillet you used to cook the pepper and onion, and cook the meat for a minute. Once you think you're happy with how everything is seasoned, form the mixture into a loaf and place into a loaf pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray.

Preheat your oven to 300F. Take a 13"x9" roasting dish and place the loaf pan inside. Fill the roasting dish with water until it comes about halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. When the oven comes up to temperature, place the roasting dish with water in the oven for a few minutes until the water comes up to 180F. Cover the loaf pan with foil and gently place in the water. Cook until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 150F (use a meat thermometer), about 1.5 hours.

While you're waiting for the meatloaf, make the glaze. Chop the chipotle chili and place in a food processor with the ketchup and fish sauce. Pulse until smooth. Reserve leftover ketchup for sandwiches.

When the loaf hits 150F, remove both pans from the oven and toss the water. Preheat your broiler and move the oven rack up to the middle third of the oven. Remove the foil from the loaf, and coat the top of the loaf with the chiptole ketchup. Broil for a few minutes to glaze the ketchup onto the meat, being careful not to let it burn (I have a bad habit of doing that when working with my broiler). Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Meatloaf sandwiches:
Frankly I'm surprised that meatloaf doesn't come in sandwich form all the time, but when you're trying to figure out how to use those leftovers there's no finer method than sticking your meat in a bun. That came out wrong. Anyway:

Slice of leftover meatloaf
Slice of bacon
Leftover chipotle kecthup
Cheese (something that melts well - I had muenster in my fridge, so I used that)
Kaiser Roll

Preheat your oven's broiler on the Low setting and set your oven rack to the upper third. Cook that bacon in a skillet over medium heat until desired crispiness. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, and reserve the excess grease in a mug, leaving only a thin film in the pan. Add the meatloaf to the skillet, and brush chipotle ketchup all over the exposed areas. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the cheese and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, to allow the cheese to melt. Place the meat on a roll and add bacon.


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