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Meatloaf, for a sandwich

I’ve never made meatloaf, because it’s too normal and it never sounded too appealing to make. But I saw a recipe for a meatloaf sandwich from Tom Colicchio and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The meatloaf was out of this world good and I dream about the sandwich. I used half beef and half pork. I made some improvements by referencing a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. The original recipe said to brush the top of the meatloaf with ketchup, but I made the glaze from the CI recipe. I poured in a little of the mustard seed pickling liquid for fun. Yum! I also added gelatin and beef stock per the CI recipe. I wanted a thinly sliceable meatloaf that would hold together nicely, and I thought the gelatin would allow that. However, my meatloaf was still pretty crumbly. I’ll have to figure out how to fix that. I free formed the meatloaf and baked on a rack, a good day before wanting to eat the sandwiches. The tomato relish was killer. It reminded me of ratatouille without the pesky eggplant and zucchini. I’m on the fence about the mustard seeds. At first I thought they were a little weird but they are kind of growing on me. I think it took a few days for them to soften enough to where I liked them. I sauteed the sliced meatloaf to heat it up before sticking the bun, relish, cheese, and meatloaf in the oven to heat. The bottom bun had the meatloaf and 1/2 of the cheese on it, and the top bun had the relish and the rest of the cheddar cheese on it. I baked at 375 for about 15-20 minutes, covered with foil. So good!


The Meatloaf Sandwich
from The ‘Wichcraft Cookbook Tom Colicchios Meatloaf Sandwich
Print this recipe

Total Prep and Cooking Time: 2 hours
Yield: 4-6 sandwiches, plus leftovers

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds ground beef (I used 1.5 pounds ground beef and .5 pounds of ground sausage)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 tablespoon dried Sicilian oregano
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ketchup
12 slices bacon
4 ciabatta rolls (I used sourdough rolls)
8 slices yellow Cheddar cheese
8 tablespoons Tomato Relish (recipe follows)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If you are making your own bread crumbs, do that first. Using a sharp knife or a food processor, dice or process the bread into crumbs. Place the crumbs on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until browned (I put mine under the broiler, so you can do that if you are impatient, but they will toast in 2-3 minutes, so keep an eye on them!). Set aside until ready to use. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in the oil until golden. Add in the garlic and saute for 1 minute or so, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, onion and garlic, bread crumbs, oregano, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Form a loaf (approximately 7x5x3 inches in size) and place it in a roasting pan, or place a cooling rack in a lined baking sheet and use that as your “makeshift” roasting pan. Cover the loaf evenly with the ketchup, then bake for 1 hour, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Remove from the pan and allow to rest slightly, then cut into 1/2-inch slices. Set aside until ready to use.

3. In a heavy skillet over medium high-heat, cook the bacon until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Alternatively, you can cook the bacon in the oven, like I did. Line a baking sheet with foil, then place a cooling rack on top. Spray with nonstick spray, then place the bacon on the cooling rack. Cook at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels so that the fat can drain and set aside.

4. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Top each bottom half with a slice of warm meatloaf, followed by the cheese. Place the tomato relish (recipe follows) on the top halves and then top with bacon. Place all the rolls on a baking sheet and into a 350 degree F oven and remove once the cheese has melted and the meatloaf is heated through. Close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.

Tomato Relish

Total Prep and Cooking Time: 1 hour
Yield: 1 1/4 cups

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, halves and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (I used red wine vinegar because I didn’t have sherry vinegar)
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried Sicilian oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons drained Pickled Mustard Seeds (recipe follows)

1. Pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add the sugar and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.

2. Add in the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the contents into a strainer. Stir the reslish so most of the liquid drains. Keep the liquid in an airtight container in the fridge to use later – it’s great to spread onto the meatloaf when you re-heat it, or makes a great base for a tomato sauce or dressing. Transfer the relish to a cutitng board and roughly chop. Transfer it again to a bowl and mix in the parsley and mustard seeds. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Use immediately or store refrigerated for up to 1 week. This relish is great on sandwiches, eggs, salads, pasta…you name it!

Pickled Mustard Seeds

Total Prep and Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 cup

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 cup mustard seeds

1. In a sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water, vinegar, sugar, and dry mustard to a boil. Add in the mustard seeds and simmer for 5 minutes, until the seeds bloom, or double in size. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store the mustard seeds in the liquid, and they will keep well if refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. These are wonderful in salads (even tuna salad or egg salad), as well as with any kind of meat.


Glazed All-Beef Meat Loaf         (Cook’s Illustrated)

3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese , grated on small holes of box grater (about 1 cup)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 medium onion  (about 1 cup)
1 medium rib celery mined (About 1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons minced parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Lb. ground sirloin
1 Lb. ground beef chuck  (Or use 85% Ground beef.)
21 saltines, crushed

1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cheese on plate and place in freezer until ready to use. Prepare baking pan by folding a piece of aluminum foil into a 10″X6″ rectangle. Place it on a cooling rack placed inside a baking  pan with sides.  Using a skewer, poke holes in the luminum foil every 1/2 inch.  Spray the foil with non-stick vegetable spray before putting the meat loaf on it.

2. Heat butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming; add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and add tomato juice. Cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits from pan, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside to cool.


3. Whisk broth and eggs in large bowl until combined. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, mustard, saltines, parsley, salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Crumble frozen cheese into coarse powder and sprinkle over mixture. Add ground beef; mix gently with hands until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Transfer meat to foil rectangle and shape into 10 by
6-inch oval about 2 inches high. Smooth top and edges of meat loaf with moistened spatula. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 135 to 140 degrees, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and turn on broiler.

4. While meat loaf cooks, combine ingredients for glaze in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Spread half of glaze evenly over cooked meat loaf with rubber spatula; place under broiler and cook until glaze bubbles and begins to brown at edges, about 5 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and spread evenly with remaining glaze; place back under broiler and cook until glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Let meat loaf cool about 20 minutes before slicing.


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