Using contrasting shades from two types of meat, a shape is embedded inside the meatloaf - creating a fun reveal when sliced. For this meatloaf, I used a cattle-shaped cookie cutter to make the beef inside and surrounded it with pork.
The great thing about meatloaf is that you can substitute ingredients to suit your tastes. The thing to consider is to have contrasting layers which will highlight the shape inside. I used pork and beef for this meatloaf, here are some alternatives:
I made two separate batches for my meatloaf, here's the ingredients in each:
Light layer ideas: pork, turkey (breast), chicken, tofu, white fish
Dark layer ideas: beef, turkey (thighs), bison, ostrich, offal
|beef meatloaf||pork meatloaf|
More meatloaf inspiration can be found here and here.
- cookie cutter of your desired shape
- loaf baking pan
- cookie sheet
- plastic food wrap
Step 1: Beef Mix
- Combine tomatoes, mushrooms, bread crumbs, tomato paste, garlic with ground beef and mix thoroughly.
- Spread beef mixture onto cutting board, cover with food film and press to a uniform thickness (about 10mm [0.5"])
- Press cookie cutter completely through beef, carefully lay beef cattle cutouts on a cookie sheet covered with food film or tinfoil.
- Repeat cookie cutting of cattle
- Make more beef cutouts than you think you may need
- Place cookie sheet in freezer until beef is frozen solid (about 30 minutes)
Step 2: Pork Mix
- Combine onions, apple, Italian parsley, and an egg with the ground pork, mix thoroughly.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to assembly meatloaf
Step 3: Pack Meat + Bake
After both meat mixtures are complete and the beef pucks are frozen, the meatloaf is ready to be assembled.
Grease the bottom and sides of your loaf pan. Then lay a solid foundation of pork mix on the bottom of the pan.
Using the cookie cutter, press the feet of the cow shape into the pork creating a trough the entire length of the loaf pan.
Next, stack frozen beef pucks into the trough in the loaf pan. Pack those beef pucks in there tight, and leave a little room on each end of the pan. You may need to substitute a few beef pucks to ensure adequate coverage inside the pan.
When the frozen cattle are placed, continue filling up the voids around the cattle with more pork mix. You may need to press the pork mix into the corners and into overhanging areas.
Once the loaf pan is full, cover entire loaf with tinfoil and bake in 350F oven for 1.5 hours. Your cooking time may vary depending on the shape/volume of your loaf pan, and your oven. Ensure beef centre is cooked completely through before eating.
Meaty thoughts for next time:
- A food processor would have made for much more uniform consistency in both types of loaf, likely resulting in more cohesion between the disparate meats.
- I had originally considered adding a layer of bacon around each frozen beef puck before embedding in pork, this would have enhanced the boundary of the beef layer more. Maybe next time.
- Make a larger/second batch, as this eye-catching dinner was gone much to fast.
Have you made your own meatloaf? I want to see it!
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