A hearty meat loaf is the perfect comfort food, particularly when it is paired with mashed potatoes. And for many of us, this comforting dish reminds us of "mom’s home-cooking". Interestingly enough, meat loaf has made a comeback in recent years. Many finer restaurants are now spicing up this dish and serving it as one of their trademark "gourmet" entrees.
Meat loaf can be made with one or more kinds of meat. By adding different types of meat you can alter the texture of the finished meat loaf. A coarsely ground meat is ideal so that the loaf has texture and doesn’t end up the consistency of pâté. If using different types of meat make sure the amount of meat in relation to the other ingredients are the same ratio and make sure you don’t over-mix the mixture or it will become heavy and tough. The best method for mixing meat loaf is still the old fashioned way; to use your hands.
One of the things that I like about meatloaf is that it is completely open to interpretation. You can alter the taste and fat content of a meat loaf by, not only adding different types of meat (pork, turkey, chicken, beef, or veal), but you can also experiment with the other added ingredients. In addition, many meat loaves have an accompanying sauce (traditionally — a ketchup type sauce) — however this too can be modified with different spices, chiles, vinegars and the like.
We have discovered that, although bread crumbs are traditionally used to bind the mixture and lighten the finished texture, it is possible to create a wonderful meatloaf without breadcrumbs and hence make your meatloaf "naturally" gluten-free. In fact, many the meat loaf recipes on Glutenfreeda.com omit the use of breadcrumbs altogether and focus on a variety of other flavorful ingredients.
And now, drum roll…. it is possible to add oatmeal to your meat loaf recipes with the availability of certified gluten-free oats. Oatmeal will provide some of the same characteristics as do breadcrumbs while adding extra fiber.
This month we’d like to share our recipe for Meat Loaf with Oats. This traditional style meat loaf is topped with a tomato sauce that finishes it perfectly.
Meat Loaf with Oats
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground round
- 1-8oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup uncooked certified gluten-free oats
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups gluten-free pasta sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add oil. When hot, add onion, green pepper and carrots. Cook and toss until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add remaining ingredients except pasta sauce to a large bowl and mix with your hands to combine thoroughly. Add cooked vegetables to meat mixture and blend with hands again. Transfer meat loaf to a loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Heat pasta sauce in a small pan.
To serve, top slices of meat loaf with spoonfuls of warmed pasta sauce.
Try our other great meat loaf recipes, perfect feel good meals your whole family will love!
Italian Meat Loaf
Louisiana Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf with Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- Chef Yvonne