You can’t get much more Americana than meatloaf with potatoes. But leave it to me to fancy it up a bit and take a departure from tradition by forgoing the ubiquitous ketchup for the oh-my-god delicious chimichurri sauce. There are basically a kazillion recipes for chimichurri sauce, and I suspect every kitchen in Argentina, the sauce’s home country, has its on interpretation on the condiment. In fact, I tweaked mine here and there based on what I was craving. Heavy on the cilantro, less bite on the garlic (de-germed*), a few extra pinches of red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon for good measure.
I made this dish last night for dinner and served it with farro and spring greens. What I found is that you want to put chimichurri on EVERYTHING. I dressed the salad with it, I dressed the farro with it. And of course the meatloaf. It’s that good. I’m surprised I didn’t put it on my toast this morning! Wow, that would’ve been tasty…
Also, it’s really easy to make. A little chopping here and there, a good stir, or perhaps shake of a mason jar and your done. Serve fresh.
I should add that this isn’t your ordinary meatloaf. It’s a riff on a recipe, Meat and Spinach Loaf, in Amanda Hesser’s Essential NY Times Cookbook that involves adding greens (I used arugula because I like it better than spinach) to the mixture and topping it all off with bacon (best idea ever). It’s still good ol’ fashioned meatloaf… but just a hair fancier than your mom’s.
Meatloaf with Chimichurri Sauce
Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook.
* a trick I learned in Dorie Greenspan’s book, Around my French Table. She says that if you’d like
to take the bite out of garlic, which I did because I’m not a fan of raw garlic, cut the
clove in half and pop out the germ with a paring knife. Totally mellows it out.
Forgot to mention that this is the first time I’ve ever made meatloaf!
For the meatloaf:
About 1/2 lb arugula, soaked in ice water, drained and dried in a salad spinner
1 lb each ground beef and ground pork
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Several generous grinds of black pepper
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 whole milk (I used almond milk because that is what I had on hand)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup cioppolini onions, finely chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 slices of bacon
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
1/2 cup firmly packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup firmly packed cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, de-germed* and finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Squeeze from half a lemon, optional
Warm your oven to 350 degrees.
Place drained arugula in a saucepan over medium heat and let cook for about 3 minutes. Stirring until just wilted.
Transfer the arugula to a colander and rinse with cool water.
Squeeze out the excess water with your hands and finely chop the arugula.
Put the meat in a large bowl.
Add arugula, breadcrumbs, a few generous pinches of sea salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Put the carrot, parsley and milk in a food processor or blender. Blend well and add to the meat mixture.
Add the garlic.
Warm butter in a skillet of medium heat and add the onion. Cook until just starting to soften.
Add the onion to meat mix.
Add the eggs and mix everything together with your hands until well blended.
Shape the meat mixture and place in a loaf pan.
Lay the three strips of bacon across the top.
Bake for about 1 1/4 hour rotating the pan 180 degrees half way through.
Let stand for 20 minutes and serve with chimicurri sauce.
For the chimichurri sauce:
Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to blend.
Adjust seasonings to taste and serve fresh.
Refrigerate any leftovers and eat within a day or two.