This recipe for Meatloaf was featured in our Burger Extravaganza Cooking Special and will be included in Steve’s upcoming book The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, & Cooking Wild Game, Volume 1: Big Game. Pre-order it here. Enjoy!
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or 2 tablespoons bacon grease)
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely (7oz or 1 ¼ cups)
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced (2T)
10 ounces baby spinach (or young spinach leaves, coarse stems removed)
Whole nutmeg, freshly grated (about ¼ teaspoon)
Pinch red chile flakes (1/4t.)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
¼ cup oatmeal
¼ cup finely chopped parsley (from one small bunch of flat leafed parsley)
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
½ cup milk
1 ½ pounds ground meat
Freshly ground pepper
Butter for greasing the pan
3 ounces provolone (or fontina) cut into sticks about 1/3 inch x 1/3 inch x 3 inches
3 tablespoons cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup seedy mustard mixed with 1t. honey for coating
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
3. Add the onion and cook until caramelized, about 6 minutes, and then season it with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
4. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Remove half of the onion and garlic mixture and set that aside to cool.
5. Add the spinach and red chile flakes to the half remaining in the pan, and toss with tongs until the spinach is wilted.
6. With a microplane, finely grate ¼ teaspoon of the nutmeg over the spinach. Set aside to cool.
7. Place breadcrumbs, oatmeal, and chopped herbs in a small bowl. Pour milk over top. Let sit while you mix the meat.
8. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, cooled onion mixture, and the egg. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.
9. Add the soaked breadcrumb mixture and combine well. You could use a spoon for mixing, but it’s easier to just use your hands.
10. Once the mixture is combined, lay a one-inch layer of the meatloaf mixture on the bottom of a loaf pan. Pat it down so it reaches the corners, and allow it to come up the sides a bit. You will fill this cavity with the filling.
11. Next, lay the cooled sautéed spinach over the meat mixture leaving a ½-inch border of meat around the spinach. Top the spinach with the cheese sticks lengthwise in the pans, forming a stripe in the center that runs the length of the pan. Next sprinkle the pine nuts over each stripe of cheese. Top with the remaining meat mixture and pat down. You want to be sure the top of the meat mixture meets the bottom meat mixture along the sides.
12. Pat the top of the loaf so it’s flat and even. Then coat with the seedy mustard.
13. Bake for an hour or until an instant read thermometer reads 150 when inserted in the center.