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Apple Butter Glazed Meatloaf

9 Oct

Even though the weather warmed up significantly this weekend, the cold, dreary rain of the past week had me in the mode of craving comfort food.  Meatloaf is the epitome of simple, easy, down-home comfort food, so I put it on my list immediately.  The version below puts an oh-so-slight twist on a classic by using apple butter as the glaze rather than ketchup.  Mixed with a bit of balsamic, it has a perfect balance of sweetness and tang.  It also creates a gorgeous caramelized crust on the top that creates and nice variation in texture from the moist meatloaf.  I added some very finely chopped mushrooms to add to the umami, but otherwise stuck very closely to a classic recipe.

This is also great for a busy weeknight meal because it is mostly make ahead.  I formed the meatloaf in advance, popped in the fridge, and then simply brought up back to room temperature while the oven preheated and baked it off.

Apple Butter Glazed Meatloaf

1.36 lbs. meatloaf mix (ground beef, veal, and pork)

1 tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, very finely chopped

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

3 tbs. ketchup

1/4 cup homemade beef stock

1 cup challah bread, crusts removed and cubed

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup slow cooker apple butter

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 325º.

In a small bowl, combine cubed bread and milk.  Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and season with salt and pepper.  Stirring occasionally, cook 8-10 minutes, until tender and translucent.  Add mushrooms, season with dried thyme, and cook another 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and juices have released.  Remove from heat.

Add Worcestershire, ketchup, and beef stock.  Allow to cool slightly.

While cooling, take bread cubes and squeeze out excess moisture.  Tear into small pieces.  Discard milk.

In a large bowl, combine meatloaf mix, onion and mushroom mixture, soaked bread, and eggs.  Gently combine with your hands, being sure not to over mix.

Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.  On the parchment lined baking sheet, form meat mixture into a rectangular loaf shape.

Whisk together apple butter and balsamic vinegar.  Spread evenly over the top of the meatloaf.

Fill a small casserole dish with water and place on the bottom rack of your oven.  Transfer the meatloaf to a middle rack of the oven.

Bake for about an hour, or until internal temperature is 160º.

Geagua Family Farms CSA – Week Seventeen

9 Oct

Summer CSA – Week Seventeen

I apologize in the delay in posting this CSA update, I’m having computer troubles.  My PC is currently being evaluated by the smart tech people over at Microcenter, and I’m struggling to remember how to efficiently use a MacBook.

Anyway, in this week’s share we received about half a dozen red onions, two small green bell peppers, a heart of red and green leafy lettuce, a bag of redskin potatoes, two eggplants, a head of garlic, some apples, and some more green beans.  We were warned the shares may be a little light this week to due to the monsoon like rains of last weekend.

From last week’s share, I still have leftover the green pepper, some lettuce, the garlic, and the green beans.  The apples and oranges chicken made use of some CSA apples.  In order to use up the rhubarb and some sweet potatoes, I created rhubarb glazed sweet potatoes, which were a delicious combination of earthy sweetness and bright tartness.  The pork and pepper jacked stuffed peppers with spicy polenta used up the long sweet peppers as well as a bit of hot pepper from the previous week.  The rest of the sweet potatoes went into the pork and sweet potato empanadas.

The only thing I have planned for this week almost definitively is a meat loaf with some roasted potatoes and onions.  I have an excess of green beans that I need to find a way to use up, so I’ve been brainstorming ideas as to how to do that.  Some will surely be roasted, but I am thinking about pickling some as well.  Half the fun of the CSA is figuring out how to use all of the ingredients, so I’m sure I’ll have a good time dreaming up a few extra dishes.

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