Monday, December 12, 2016

Gluten Free Meatloaf without the Loaf Pan

I have never liked dense meatloaf. With all of the vegetables in this recipe, the meatloaf is moist and not dense. And the way it is cooked allows a lot of the fat to drain away.
I always have easy "cheats" on hand in my kitchen. I often used dehydrated onion instead of fresh, and jarred garlic instead of a clove. I also keep many frozen veggies on hand for hiding in recipes, such as cauliflower and spinach. I use a food chopper to chop all my vegetables very small because no one in my family wants to bite into a large vegetable in the middle of their meatloaf.
  • 3 lbs turkey (many stores sell in 3 lb portions)
  • 3 lb beef
  • 1 lb pork
  • 2 tsp butter, ghee, or olive oil
  • 1 c finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 c shredded zucchini (you can chop it, but I find it shreds easily. I shred a whole zucchini and then freeze the rest for later.)
  • 1/2 c finely chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/2 c finely chopped cauliflower (you don't need to use the four veggies I have listed above, but use whatever you have on hand. I always have these veggies in the freezer.)
  • 1/2 c finely chopped frozen pepper and onion mix (another item I always have in the freezer)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or 1 tsp jarred garlic)
  • 2 tsp thyme (rub it with your hands to "awaken" the flavor)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp tamari sauce (or soy sauce, but I prefer tamari as it is wheat free)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
Put the meats into a large bowl. Let them warm up a little before you mix them. I hate mixing fresh-out-of-the-fridge meat, it makes my hands cramp up.
Prepare the cooking tray: take a rimmed baking sheet and put a cookie cooling rack on top of it. On top of the cooling rack, place a piece of aluminum foil, turn up the sides if they hang over the edge. Poke holes in the foil.
In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the carrot, zucchini, cauliflower and spinach for 5-7 minutes to soften them up (also cook the onion if using fresh). Let the veggies cool in the pan.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add tamari, and Dijon to the eggs and whisk.
On top of the meat add the dehydrated onion, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic. Pour in the egg mixture. Put the cooled vegetable mix on top. Using your hands, mix the meat until everything is evenly distributed. Don't mix too long, this will toughen up the meat.
Divide the meat into three portions. I form one directly onto the cooking pan (instructions below), and put the other two into plastic bags to freeze.
On your prepared cooking tray, form the meat into a long loaf, approximately two inches high and 3-4 inches wide. It can be as long as the tray you have.
GLAZE: 
  • 3/4 c ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 2-3 shakes of hot sauce
Combine all the ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer on low for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Cooking: Preheat the oven to 375°. Put a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a piece of foil on the rack and poke holes into the foil (I use a chopstick to do that). Form the meat into a loaf in the middle of the foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the internal temperature is 135° - 140°.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spoon some glaze over the loaf, 2-3 spoonfuls. Use a spatula or brush to paint the loaf with the glaze. (I purposely use a spoon to distribute the glaze and make sure not to touch the meat with it so as not to contaminate the glaze) Put the meatloaf back into oven under the broiler for 5 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times.
Let the meatloaf cool for about 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with the remaining glaze as a sauce.