With approximately 5,000 gluten-free recipes in our database, it’s easy to forget how incredible some of them are until I periodically scroll through the categories while looking for something else. I find myself oooing and aaahing remembering this one and that one and vowing to make them all as soon as time permits or when they are more seasonally appropriate. This is precisely the exercise that brings me to write about meatloaf. Over the summer, as I perused our recipe archives, one of the ooos and aaahs recipes that caught my eye was Louisiana Meatloaf. I actually have made this dish in the heat of summer, but it is better suited for a day such as today; gray skies with a light drizzling rain. You may be thinking ‘how can anyone get excited about meatloaf?’ Granted, meatloaf has historically gotten a bad rap. A meal created from the pressures of economics, meatloaf usually brings to mind a rather bland, bready substance that could feed a family with half the usual amount of beef and with still enough left-over for sandwiches the next day. Even the name, meatloaf, is so second class. Whether you like it or not, meatloaf has never been a show-stopping meal….until now. This is NOT your Grandmother’s meatloaf! In fact, we should change the name to Louisiana Baked Ground Boeuf! Hot and spicy, this dish is also not for those with a delicate palate. This ‘Baked Ground Boeuf’ demands to be taken seriously!
Bold and fiery, Louisiana Meatloaf is prepared in a unique way. The difference is in the sauce, as they say. Green and red bell peppers, celery, onions and garlic are sautéed with seasonings and spices until their aromas blend and the vegetables are just softened. To this mixture the cream is added, rich and intense the sauce is then cooled and added to a combination of ground beef, pork and eggs. This recipe requires no bread. Bread in any form would be way too bland and completely unnecessary.
My second favorite Baked Ground Beef is ‘Meatloaf w/Chipotle BBQ Sauce’. This recipe is completely different yet spicy and bold in its own right. The secret to this recipe is the incredible sauce that is glazed over the top; superb!
If you are not yet convinced on the new respectability of today’s meatloaf try ‘Meatloaf with Pancetta, Mushrooms & Oats’ (we used certified gluten-free oats*) and Turkey Meatloaf, both keepers that your family and guests will applaud.
*You can purchase certified gluten-free oats from Gifts of Nature at www.giftsofnature.com.
- Yvonne Gifford, Chef