Sunday, October 2, 2011

Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Readers of my blog will recall my fond recollection of garlic meatloaf sandwiches at Sgt. Preston's of the North. Saturdays in the fall of the mid 70's were not complete without a little Tony Dungy, Coach Cal Stoll, Bloody Marys and Sgt. Preston's Garlic Meatloaf sandwich. You can read about it here: .

So yesterday I decided to get off my butt and see if I could duplicate what my palate so treasured 35 years ago. I knew I could get the "garlic" part down, but it took me another couple of hours of research out on the Internet and in my cookbooks to complete the whole picture. I spent a few hours in the kitchen putting it all together and I'm happy to say it turned out to be a resounding success. It's not just me saying that. My toughest critics, Judy and Patrick, also gave it two thumbs up. So this recipe will actually spawn two dishes. The first is the Roasted Garlic Meatloaf itself. The second is the incredible sandwich you can make with the chilled leftovers.

The most critical aspect to making this recipe work is the "Free Form Loaf Pan". When you cook meatloaf in a regular loaf pan, it percolates in it's own grease. All that grease causes the meatloaf to fall apart, so you end up with meatloaf "crumbles" instead of nice, firm slices of meatloaf. The "Free Form Loaf Pan" will actually drain away all of the grease. Secondly, when meatloaf is cooked in a loaf pan, only the top browns. When you use a "Free Form Meat Loaf Pan", fully 75% of the surface area of the meat browns. That makes it taste a whole lot better and look a whole lot more appetizing.

This recipe will make 4 entree servings with enough left over to make 4 nice sandwiches the next day. When served as an entree, I accompany it with Onion Tater Tots and a Caesar Salad. If you are going to make the recipe for just sandwiches, you will be able to get 8-10 sandwiches out of it. When served as a sandwich, I accompany it with Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips. Here is the recipe for the sandwich: .

6 heads of garlic
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal
1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups bread cubes (I use sage and onion stuffing)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup A1 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions for the Roasted Garlic

  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Slice the top quarter off each head of garlic.
  3. Place garlic heads on large piece of foil, sliced side up. Drizzle each head with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle each with Kosher salt.
  4. Fold foil over so that garlic heads are completely enclosed. Place foil on middle rack of oven and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Remove packet from oven, remove foil and let garlic cool enough to be handled without burning (about 15 minutes)
Directions for Meatloaf

1. Preheat oven to 375º.
2. Create a "Free Form Loaf Pan".  Fold heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a 10 by 10-inch rectangle. Center the foil on a metal cooling rack and place the rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Poke holes in the foil with a skewer (about half an inch apart). Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Baking sheet with rack and foil cover.

Poke drainage holes every half inch.

3. In a large bowl, squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of each head of garlic.
4. Sautee onions in a small pan until soft (about 5 minutes). Add to bowl.
5. Add all other ingredients to bowl. Mix very thoroughly.
6. Create a loaf on top of your "Free Form Loaf Pan".

Make symmetrical for even cooking.

7. Cook for 90 minutes then remove from oven.
8. Let cool for 10 minutes then slice and serve.

Wine pairing: Syrah or Merlot ( for a special treat, try Rombauer Merlot)

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