Meatloaf Anyone?

We survived the first official snowstorm of 2016 and we did it with full bellies thanks to this tasty recipe for Hoisin-Ginger Meatloaf from Eating Well.  This recipe first caught our eye because it married some of our favorite flavors from Asian cooking with our go-to comfort food…  Meatloaf.

So how did meatloaf become such a staple in our menu rotation when, believe it or not, I (the Sweet one), didn’t even try it for the first time until I was in my early 20’s. We owe that to Rachael Ray and an episode of 30 Minute Meals which aired nearly 15 years ago  and featured a recipe for Turkey and Wild Mushroom Meatloaf Patties with Pan Gravy. A recipe (and a show) that inspired a passion for cooking in our household which has continued to grow over the years. NOTE: We still love this recipe and if you like mushrooms and meatloaf, we urge you to give it a try. If you do want to try it and are interested in any tips, let us know by commenting on this post. We’re happy to share ’em!

As we mentioned before, we’re relatively strict recipe followers. So,the goal of our posts is not to create our own culinary masterpieces, but rather to share our experiences trying new dishes and learning new techniques.  Our hope is to encourage others to try ’em too. We’re certainly not professional chefs (or photographers) and we know that you aren’t either, so we’re here to help empower people of all skill levels to feel to take control in the kitchen!

Ok, back to the meatloaf… for this recipe we stuck pretty close to the original ingredient list.  We did add an extra 1/3 lb of pork (because that was what was available at the store) and left out the water chestnuts. We also used instant brown rice to help shortcut the time – this was an extremely simple and successful substitution.

In terms of the prep, the recipe suggests using a cuisinart to finely chop the veggies (mushrooms, red bell pepper, ginger root, scallions & water chestnuts). However, based on a previous experience with bell peppers turning to mush in the cuisinart, we decided to chop our pepper by hand along with the scallions. And we grated our ginger root using a handheld grater. We did however take the suggestion to chop our mushrooms in the cuisinart, and definitely recommend this if you have one available. We went with a coarse chop on the mushrooms as we like our meatloaf to have a bit of texture.  Here are a few shots to help you get an idea of the size of our pieces.

Since we knew we would be incorporating the ground turkey and ground pork, wanted to be sure to get a good mix of ingredients, without overworking the meatloaf, so we gave all of the ingredients a good mix before adding the meat, which we added in 2 batches.

One thing that we like about recipes from Eating Well is that they provide very clear and detailed instructions. This continued to be the case as the recipe instructed us to form a 12″ x 5″ loaf on our baking sheet.  Since we were working with a bit of extra pork, ours was slightly larger. But even so, the suggested 3TB of hoisin sauce provided to be enough to cover the entire loaf with a thin layer.

And then it was into the oven it went. As suggested we checked the internal temperature using a meat thermometer after 45 minutes and were still about 20 degrees shy of the 165 degree target, so we put it back in the oven for an additional 6 minutes before checking again.  While we were closer to our target, we put it back in for 6 more minutes which completed the process, and actually put us a little bit over the target temperature (perhaps we should’ve checked after 3 more minutes). We let the meatloaf rest for several minutes before cutting it into 14 slices, which we divided into 7 portions – 3 fewer than what Eating Well recommended and 1 shy of our target of 8. Next time, we’ll go for thinner slices which should help us get 8 portions.

Overall both of us enjoyed this dish and will definitely try it again. Next time we may consider adding a little extra ginger and possibly a clove of garlic. We would also consider pulling together an asian bbq sauce for dipping. Definitely not necessary, but would be a nice addition for those who are used to enjoying their meatloaf with a gravy or dipping it in ketchup (like the Sweaty one).


-The Sweet and Sweaty