Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Super Bowl, Super Flavor - Best Ever Turkey Meatloaf

Here at Neurotic Kitchen our wintertime jones for Comfort Food continues. This week, it's Meatloaf - an American favorite and a perfect consolation food to enjoy if this football season left your favorite team out in the cold. Here in the New York area, we are sorely in need of something to lift our Super Bowl spirits, and this party-ready, bursting with flavor Turkey Meatloaf is just the ticket. 

Best Ever Turkey Meatloaf, Photo: NK 

Today's recipe comes to us courtesy of my good friend Marina. Even though she's moved back to Midwest, she's still keeping me updated on the exciting goings on in her kitchen. Marina is a lot like me - she enjoys big flavors. When we'd go out on the town, our martinis were always extra dirty and our buffalo wings extra spicy. Her very loose adaptation of Ina Garten's wonderful Turkey Meatloaf has a lot going for it: extra spice, extra moistness, and finally, an extra special glaze that doubles as a sauce for serving. 

Looking for a main-event Super Bowl party dish? Look no further. A loaf of Best Ever Turkey Meatloaf, sliced up, feeds numerous guests. Just add rolls and some sauce, maybe even some sautéed onions, and you've got fantastic, boldly flavored make-ahead Meatloaf sandwiches. 

Best Ever Turkey Meatloaf
Adapted from Marina E. and Inspired by Ina Garten
Serves 4 to 5 

Photo: NK
1 large Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
1 Stalk Celery, roughly chopped
1 large Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large Garlic Cloves
6 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme. leaves only

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper - or more to taste
1 teaspoon Oregano 
Salt to Taste

1 Lb dark meat Ground Turkey 
1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
Just over a 1/3 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, roughly chopped - not the ones packed in oil
3/4 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
2 Large Eggs Beaten 
1.25 Cups Basting and Serving Sauce* Ingredients and Recipe follow 

*Basting and Serving Sauce
Adapted from Alton Brown and Marina E
Yield - About a 1.25 Cups

1 Cup Ketchup
3-4 Tablespoons Prepared BBQ Sauce (optional)
2 teaspoons Cumin
4 teaspoons Dry Mustard
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Several dashes of Tabasco or other Hot Sauce to taste
2 Tablespoons Honey or Agave Syrup
2 Tablespoons of Water or Dark Beer

Meatloaf Preparation Method:
Preheat oven to 325 with rack in the middle, and another rack below. 
*Mix together the Basting and Serving Sauce by combining all ingredients. Set aside. You will glaze Meatloaf with it before cooking and again about a half hour in. 

Using food processor, combine the first 4 ingredients (Onion, Celery, Carrot, Garlic) until they form a coarse yet paste-like consistency. Next, add Fresh Thyme Leaves, and Sun Dried Tomatoes to the processor. Pulse 5 or 6 times until incorporated (little chunks of Sun Dried Tomatoes will taste good in the meatloaf).
Photo: NK

In a medium saucepan  on low heat, add Olive Oil and Vegetable paste mixture. Sweat the mixture until all the rawness has cooked out of it. This should take about 5 minutes. During this time, add a generous dose of Salt, the Black Pepper and Red Pepper, and the Oregano. Now add Chicken Stock, Tomato Paste, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir to Combine. Pop the pot into the freezer to cool it quickly.

In a large bowl, combine Turkey Meat, Eggs, Panko Breadcrumbs, and the Veggie/Herb/Stock Mixture from the freezer. Make sure all elements are incorporated but try not to overwork the meat. 

Assemble free-form Meatloaf on an ungreased cookie sheet (to help meat hold its shape).
You should end up with a rectangular loaf about two inches high. 

Photo: NK
Place a pan of water in the oven one rack below where the meatloaf will cook. This will help the top of the Meatloaf not to crack on top. Baste Meatloaf all over with the Glazing Sauce (don't double dip your basting brush so you can use any remaining sauce to serve with cooked meatloaf). 

Cook about 1 hour and 10 minutes, basting meatloaf again at about midway through cook time. Take Meatloaf out of the oven and let rest in the pan 7 minutes tented with foil.

Slice, and serve with any leftover sauce.



  1. What a delicious looking meatloaf! I'm feeling quite hungry now! Can't wait to eat this yummy meatloaf! :)

  2. Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Thanks for posting. I was just browsing for a meatloaf with sundried tomatoes because my hubby's really into them. excited to try this one. I think I will make the basting sauce with a stout because he likes those too. going for extra points. ha.

    1. I am so sorry I missed this comment. Stout is an ingenious idea! LOL - extra points. Thanks sincerely for reading :)