Saturday, December 1, 2012

Moroccan Meatloaf

This might sound a little weird if you know me (because all-American dishes like meatloaf and casserole aren't really my thing), but I have been craving meatloaf for awhile now.  I am going to blame it on the Grandpa Jack sandwich I had in Maine back in October (which was absolutely delicious) and inspired me to pick up some Moroccan meatloaf at a gourmet market near the apartment a few weeks later.  That Moroccan meatloaf was also delicious and it inspired me to plan a Moroccan-inspired meatloaf of my own.  Since this is probably only the 5th or 6th time in my life that I have ever eaten meatloaf (and only my second attempt at making it - my first attempt was a Turkey Meatloaf) I wasn't really sure what went in it.  But I knew that I wanted to use carrots, onion, garlic, harissa, tomato paste and herbs.  I couldn't decide what meat to use but ended up just picking up a pack of meatloaf mix (ground veal, ground pork and ground beef) at Fairway and going with that.  Then Alex and I did a little research to determine exactly what goes in a typical meatloaf and discovered that we weren't far off the mark.  Alex really wanted a glaze on top of the meatloaf and I wasn't sold on the whole ketchup glaze, but agreed to it because I wasn't sure if the meatloaf would be sad and lacking without it.  But I added some harissa and some spices to the ketchup glaze to mix it up a little.  In the end, I'm glad we went with the glaze because I think it really added a nice sweetness without being cloying, which was my biggest fear.  And all of the spices and things we added really gave the meatloaf a nice flavor.  If you think you have the patience, I would totally make this the day before you want to eat it because it was even better the next day.  When I had it a few days later the flavors had really melded and it would have made an amazing meatloaf sandwich.  I wish that the meatloaf itself had been just a little more moist - we might need to soak the bread crumbs in milk or something first next time (like you do with meatballs) to provide a little extra moisture.  Or maybe we will replace the tomato paste in the meatloaf with ketchup...  I had hoped that the combination of the evoo, harissa and tomato paste would provide a little more moisture than it actually did.  But, with a little tweaking I think this recipe could be really fabulous.  I don't know if it can compete with the Grandpa Jack, but I think we are on to something here.

Recipe after the jump!

Moroccan Meatloaf

For the meatloaf:
1 1/3 lbs mixture of ground pork, ground beef and ground lamb
1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
1 heaping tbsp harissa
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper  2 tbsp evoo
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 large egg
For the glaze:
3 tbsp ketchup
2 heaping tsp harissa
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground coriander
1 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Stir with a wooden spoons (or your hands) until ingredients are just combined.  Don't overmix or your meatloaf will be tough.

Whisk together the ketchup, harissa, spices and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Pat the meat mixture into the prepared loaf pan, using a spatula (or your hands) to spread it out and distribute evenly.  Brush some glaze over the meat loaf and bake in the oven until the meat loaf is cooked through, about 45 minutes, brushing with more glaze halfway through.  Turn the broiler to high and brown the top until the glaze is sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.  Watch the meatloaf carefully while broiling because the glaze will scorch.  Let the meat loaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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