Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf. We’ve all had our remarkably awful memories of a family members dry and dreadful meatloaf. Admittedly, it took some time for me to hop on the meatloaf wagon due to severe childhood scarring. Meatloaf can really be delicious… if prepared properly. I decided to make an alternative recipe with the overabundance of leeks that I’ve had in my possession as of late. Secondly, I’ve discovered that large amounts of garlic intake and feeding a newborn baby does not go well together and results in a very gassy baby. What does that mean? I’ve had to find a way to replace my love for garlic in MANY of my recipes (sigh). The answer was LEEKS! One day I’ll be able to reintroduce garlic back into my diet but leeks will do for now. You can always add garlic to the recipe below and feel sorry for me later.
The key to keeping your meatloaf from tasting like the Sahara is to COOK your vegetables before adding them to your meat mixture and allowing them to cool. The addition of a little milk to your breadcrumbs will result in a very juicy, memorable (in a good way) meatloaf. I topped this one off with some homemade curry ketchup (you can find a great recipe here) or use some of your favorite bottled kind from the European market.
Clean and thinly slice your leek. Finely mince the onion, celery, bell peppers, celery and shred your carrots.
In a saute pan over low-medium heat, add your olive oil, the chopped and shredded veggies and red wine. Add fresh thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir frequently. Set aside and allow to COOL.
In a small bowl, add your bread crumbs and milk. Allow to soak for a few minutes.
In a separate large bowl, whisk your egg until frothy. Add your meat, cooked veggie mixture, soaked breadcrumbs and fresh chopped parsley. With clean hands, mix all of the ingredients together.
In a large baking pan, lightly oil the bottom and add the meat mix forming it into (you guessed it) a loaf!
Mix the honey and curry ketchup in a small dish and coat the top of your loaf with appx 1/4 cup.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for appx 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add another 1/4 cup of ketchup to the top of it. Place your loaf back into the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
Slice and serve with the remaining sauce along with some mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies! (We chose beets)
Potatoes and leeks go too well with each other to not make another recipe that highlights them. My husband grew up in Germany as a kid and a lot of the treats from the winter CSA shares scream to made into something German. Today we have what is called, Kartoffelpuffer Mit Apfelmus. I swapped out the traditional inclusion of onions with leeks since I had a few laying around from the recent CSA share. Frankly, I enjoy leeks far better than onions but you can easily switch the recipe around if you feel so inclined.
In a small sauce pan, add apples, juice, lemon and cinnamon. On medium heat, cook for about 15 minutes until apples become soft and mushy.
Add apples from pan into a food processor and puree until smooth. Add sugar to taste.
Remove the outer layer and cut your leeks in half, lengthwise. Rinse each of them by pulling apart all of the layers under cold water. Cut the light colored part of your leek into into 1/16 inch thin slices. Use a mandolin or a knife for this. (your choice)
In a small fry pan, add your leek slices and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes until leeks are caramelized and golden. Set aside.
Peel and grate your potatoes and add to a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice. This will help remove some of the starch from the taters and keep them from turning brown.
Strain the potatoes and press as much liquid out as you can.
In another bowl, whisk the egg, flower, baking powder and salt. Add the potatoes, leeks and mix well.
In a medium sized fry pan, add 1/2 cup of oil (or more if needed - try to get your oil about 1/4 inch high) Drop 1/4 cup of potato mixture into the hot oil and press down. Heat until golden brown on each side.