Thursday, February 4, 2010

Creole Meatloaf with Tomato Gravy

A tender and tasty meatloaf, infused with the trinity, seared and cooked in a roux based tomato gravy.

Creole Meatloaf with Tomato Gravy

When you have a little time on your hands, I hope that you'll give this meatloaf a try. It's totally different from your mama's meatloaf, has a few additional steps you don't usually see in a meatloaf, so it takes a bit of time to come together, but it is so worth it! Searing creates a tender and juicy meatloaf that thanks to our famous Trinity, just full of flavor. Don't expect any leftovers to last long.

Since we're taking the step of searing a meatloaf here, you really do need a leaner ground beef. Anything with a higher fat content is likely to break apart on you, as is a ground turkey. If you prefer to use turkey, or a higher fat beef, just skip the searing process and bake the meatloaf in the tomato gravy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You start with 1-1/2 pounds of lean ground beef - not a mix - just plain ole ground beef. I used 97/3. And then, of course, we have The Trinity. Cook that down with some butter until tender, toss in some garlic and cook a little longer. Transfer the mixture to a separate plate to cool. You're going to need the skillet again in a second.

Make a slurry of the seasoned bread crumbs, evaporated milk and one egg. Add that to the ground beef.

Add some salt and pepper then add the cooled Trinity.

Mix it together to form a loaf. If it's falling apart on you and not binding well, add some additional bread crumbs and reform it.  Sprinkle it all over with some flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium high heat in a separate skillet (not the one you already used but another one) and very carefully transfer the whole meatloaf to the hot skillet. Begin to sear the meatloaf on all sides, turning carefully so as not to break it up.  Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of canola oil in the smaller skillet you used earlier and sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour.

Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until the flour reaches a tan, peanut butter color.  Remove from the heat to let cool slightly, turn burner down to medium.  Add the tomato sauce and one can of plain water very quickly, whisking it in. Careful because it may splatter some if the roux has not cooled down enough. Return to the heat, add the Worcestershire, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour the roux over the meatloaf and place in the oven to bake for about 1 hour, basting occasionally. Remove and let set for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Slice, plate and spoon a bit of the tomato gravy on top.

Recipe: Creole Meatloaf with Tomato Gravy

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 45 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 1-1/2 pounds of very lean ground beef*
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of green bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 stalk (rib) of celery, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour (for the roux)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of water
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Additional flour, for coating
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil, for browning

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ground beef in a large bowl; set aside.

Heat the butter over medium and cook the onion, bell pepper and celery until tender; add the garlic, cook for another minute, transfer to a plate to cool.

Wipe out the skillet, and add the 1/4 cup of canola oil. Heat over medium high heat and stir in the flour. Cook and stir until it is browned, remove from the heat, and let cool slightly. Slowly whisk in the tomato sauce, water and Worcestershire and return to the heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Whisk together the milk and egg; stir in the bread crumbs and add that mixture to the ground beef. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne and cooked veggies; mix gently and shape into a loaf. The mixture should be firm. If it is breaking apart, return to the bowl and additional bread crumbs until it holds together.

In a large, oven safe skillet, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Carefully transfer the meatloaf to the skillet and sear on all sides, turning carefully. Pat any cracks that form back together. Note: You can skip the searing process if you prefer. Once all sides have browned, pour the tomato gravy over the meatloaf and transfer the entire skillet to a 350 degree F oven for about 1 hour, basting occasionally.

When an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees F the meatloaf is done. Allow to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve slices with a bit of the tomato gravy spooned over the top.

Cook's Notes: This works best with an extra lean ground beef, so don't be tempted to try a higher fat ground beef because it just won't hold together for the searing process. One reader also substituted ground turkey and had that issue as well. If you prefer to use either a ground turkey or a fattier ground beef, omit the searing process.


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©Deep South Dish
Adapted from River Roads II
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Posted by on February 4, 2010
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