Saturday, June 30, 2012

Triple Decker Meat Loaf

This is a recipe that came from Barb Freda of the Laura's Lean Beef website.  Barb Freda, the chef who created this recipe says that it reminds her of a colorful vegetable terrine.  I agree.  While I really enjoyed eating this meat loaf, I thought it was the most difficult meat loaf I ever made.  This meat loaf also got rave reviews from the boys so it was worth the effort.  I would make a few changes in the recipe next time I make it.  First, I would use egg substitute instead of whole eggs just to reduce the amount of fat in the meat loaf.  I don't think it would make much of a difference in the taste of the loaf.  I would also reduce the amount of onion to half an onion, finely chopped because my boys don't like onion very much.  The last change I think would be a good idea would be to substitute tomato paste for the sun-dried tomatoes.  My husband doesn't like sun-dried tomatoes but he did like them in this recipe.  My reasoning for the substitution is to reduce the amount of chopping here.  Enough is enough.  I would not suggest trying to make this unless you have some serious time available to cook on the day you choose to make it.  I served this meat loaf with mashed sweet potatoes.

Triple Decker Meat Loaf
Serves: 8


1 pound 92% lean ground beef
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped onion)
3 eggs
4 ounces bread softened in water and squeezed dry
5 ounces frozen carrots, thawed and steamed until soft (about 7 minutes)
1 pound ground chicken
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes drained of oil


1.      Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place beef in a large bowl.  Add spinach, ½ cup chopped onion, 1 egg and half the softened bread.  Mix well, using your hands to work spinach through the beef thoroughly.
2.      Use blender or stick blender to puree the cooked carrots to a smooth paste.  Divide the chicken in half, and in one bowl, mix half the chicken with the carrot puree, ¼ cup onion, 1 egg and ¼ of the softened bread.  Mix very well.
3.      Puree the sun-dried tomatoes, and add them to remaining chicken along with the remaining onion, 1 egg and remaining bread.  Mix well.
4.      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Pat the sun-dried tomato mixture into a rectangle about 10 inches long and 6 inches wide.  Gently top that layer with the beef, patting it to the edges of the chicken layer below it.  Top the beef with the carrot/chicken mixture, gently patting this layer to cover the beef layer.
5.      Carefully start patting the loaf layers into a longer and thinner rectangle, ending with something about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide.
6.      Bake meat loaf about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 16 slices, 2 slices per serving.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Servings: 4 


4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup maple syrup


1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add potatoes and cook until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

2.  With an electric mixer on low, blend potatoes, slowly adding milk, about 1/4 a cup at a time.  Using more or less to achieve the desired texture.  Add butter and maple syrup, to taste.  Blend until smooth.  Serve warm.


The Creative Cook