Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Smoked Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those foods that is a little wishy washy for me. 

I absolutely love it.... but for some reason I am always a little embarrassed to admit it.

This is for one of two reasons:
1. Brussel sprout syndrom. 
You know they made you cringe until you went to some cool bistro last year and had them cooked in bacon fat until they were all crispy and dreamy. Your mom steamed them and made the house smell like your worst nightmare and you THOUGHT that you hated them.... until you knew what on earth you were talking about. There's a lot of reallllly really bad meatloaf recipes out there.... bringing us to reason #2.......

2. Housewife meatloaf.
You know the kind..... ketchup on top, served with mashed potatoes and always a little too dry... or very dry. 

But let me tell you something...... this is a new kind of housewife meatloaf. This is the kind you make for your hubby after your Amex bill comes and you've "accidentally" spent $300 at Nordstroms on "gym clothes" the week before. Orrrr if you are a good wife like me, the kind that you make because you loveeeee your new husband and this is the most delicious meatloaf ever. 

Man-food at it's absolute best. 


2/3 lb ground pork
1 3/4 lb ground beef (I always buy grass-fed)
1 c marinara*** (plus more for finishing) 
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons each fresh basil, oregano
1/2 cup onion, diced

1/3 lb smoked mozzarella, grated
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1/3 cups parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup fresh spinach, cleaned and stems removed
1 roasted red pepper, diced

***I always ALWAYS use Rao's Marinara for everything. It is my absolute favorite. The best store bought sauce ever. 

Combine filling well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine meat mixture well. Working on a sheet of parchment paper, use your hands to press the meat mixture into a rectangular, 1/4” thick sheet (use a sheet pan as a guide). Evenly spread filling mixture across meat, leaving a 1” border on long edges. Tightly roll meat, in jelly roll-style, carefully peeling back the paper as you go. Bake on a sheet pan, or in a loaf pan (wrapped in paper) for 45-60 min until 165° internal temp is reached. Let rest 10 min before slicing, topping with warm marinara, herbs and more Parmesan, as desired.
*Tip: To keep roll tight, bake in loaf pan.

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