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Tamarind-Glazed Meat Loaf

Cookbook

American Masala

Published by Clarkson Potter

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: With its cayenne pepper, cheese, mushrooms, and spices, one thing is certain. This recipe for Tamarind-Glazed Meat Loaf isn't your mom's meat loaf! If you want to try a gourmet twist on the beloved classic, then this easy dinner recipe is for you. With its bold use of seasonings and hearty portions of ground beef in every serving, this recipe is bound to be one that you'll make again and again. If you're looking for dessert ideas, then consider the author's recipe for Fig Flan.

Richard Arakelian, the national chef for Sodexho and a good friend, was kind enough to share his famous meat loaf recipe with me. Rich’s Armenian heritage, his savvy as a father who needs to feed his kids wholesome food, and his own love of and belief in eating healthfully and heartily all contributed to this clever recipe. Mushrooms contribute a nice moisture and the spices add an unexpected earthy undertone. This is excellent with Roasted Baby Potatoes with Indian Spices. This recipe makes enough for two loaves. Bake them both, or freeze one for another time.

Makes2 loves, each serving 4 to 6

Cooking MethodBaking, Sauteeing

CostModerate

Easy

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

MealDinner

Taste and TextureMeaty, Savory, Spiced, Sweet

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • A 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 4 garlic doves, peeled and finely minced
  • ½ jalapeno pepper (cored and seeded for a milder flavor), finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground peppercorns
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps (about 1 pound), finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2½ pounds ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
  • 1¼ pounds ground pork
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. To prepare the meat loaf, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast until browned, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

  2. Place the water next to your cooktop. Heat the oil with the onion and salt in a large pot over medium-high heat, cooking the onion until it’s soft and just starting to brown, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and cook, stirring often to prevent the ginger from burning, and splashing with water if it starts to brown too much, until it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until the garlic is fragrant, splashing with water if necessary, for about 1 minute. Stir in the coriander, cumin, and ground peppercorns and cook for 1 minute, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet often and splashing it with water whenever the spices or onion begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.

  3. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid and the liquid has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the Garam Masala, turn off the heat, and set the pot aside to cool.

  4. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the toasted bread crumps, kneading it until everything is completely incorporated. Add the cooled mushroom mixture and knead again until combined. Divide the mixture evenly into two 8½ × 4½-inch loaf pans and bake for 1 hour (or cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap, place inside of a resealable freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months; defrost overnight in your refrigerator before baking).

  5. While the meat loaves bake, make the tamarind glaze. In a small bowl whisk the glaze ingredients together. Remove the loaves from the oven and carefully drain off the pooled fat from the pan. Evenly spread some glaze over each meat loaf and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F on a digital thermometer. 

  6. Let the loaves cool for 15 minutes before serving. Run a knife around the pan’s edges, slice, and serve.

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