Pesto Infused Meatloaf with Red Pepper Gravy
With Thanksgiving weekend coming to a close we opted-out of leftover turkey and indulged ourselves in this beefy meatloaf. The inspiration came from my girlfriend who tried it at Dayton’s/Marshall Fields Marketplace Deli and raved about it’s incredible flavor combination. I added my own spinn to the basic recipe omitting a few ingredients and changing some of the preparation steps, and it turned out beautifully delicious.
As you may know, I quit eating ground beef and pork about 28 years ago when I bit into a hamburger while dining at a local restaurant only to discover a lingering tendon three inches long. I froze in horror before ridding it into the napkin. That was the end of my ground meat eating days and I replaced turkey or chicken in all recipes thereafter….well, up until a month ago that is.
Mr. Spinner has been eating ground turkey right along side me in most recipes calling for ground beef. It’s leaner, healthier, and when flavored correctly you don’t notice much difference (or so I thought). He would get his ground beef fix enjoying hamburgers while out with friends or at the cabin on guys’ weekends. But I think he secretly wished we could have a beef burger once in a while or that I’d cook-up a pot of beefy spaghetti on a Sunday afternoon. One evening while watching Food TV we learned of an award winning burger mixture consisting of brisket, sirloin, and chuck…and he was drooling. He asked if I would try ground beef again if we could ensure there wouldn’t be tendons, bone fragments, or gristle (I refer to them as ‘boingers’) in the beef. Since we do enjoy eating a good steak, beef roasts, beef tenderloin, and beef stew, I guess there wasn’t a reason not to try…although I was hesitant.
I had no idea Mr. Spinner was now on a mission and referred to our favorite meat market in town, Brothers Meat and Seafood. Brothers Meats is owned by two brothers, Joel and Jerry Hoogland, and they succeed in being the best of the best in every aspect of their business. Mr. spinner couldn’t have chosen a better source to create “Mary’s Blend” to introduce ground beef back onto our menu. He explained the reason for the appreciated sensitivity in removing any tendon or bone before grinding and Joel took on the tedious challenge. Understand the blades needed to be changed with separate trimming and grinding to create this blend and he did it with his generous smile and professionalism.
I can happily say we’ve ordered our second ten pound batch of this blend and it’s been ‘boinger free’ each and every time! Burgers, meatballs, beef bolognese with Tagliatelle noodles (posting soon), and now….meatloaf! Bravo Brothers Meat and Seafood, and thank you from both of us!
This pesto infused meatloaf is loaded with flavor on it’s own, but the red pepper gravy puts it over the top…especially with a dollop of mashed potatoes. Add fresh green beans for a splash of color and a sprinkle of parsley for the final taaa-daaa. I’ve happily added this specialty ground beef meatloaf to my list of favorites and think you will too.
This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays
Pesto Infused Meatloaf with Red Pepper Gravy
(Adapted from Marshall Fields Meatloaf with Red Pepper Sauce)
- 3 slices GF multi grain bread, cubed or 1 cup coarse dry GF bread crumbs
- 1 cup GF beef stock
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp prepared pesto
- 1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp grill seasoning (or seasoned salt)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 lbs lean ground beef (or ‘Mary’s Blend’ in my case)
- 1 1/4 cups chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
Red Pepper Gravy
- 1/2 cup small dice red bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 6 Tbsp butter (divided)
- 4 Tbsp all purpose GF Flour
- 2 1/4 cups beef stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dash worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the bread cubes or coarse bread crumbs in a small bowl and pour the 1 cup beef broth over, pressing to soak into the bread. Let stand 10 minutes.
In a skillet heat the olive oil and add the onions, cooking over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the pesto, Worcestershire, grill seasoning, pepper and Parmesan. Add the ground beef, spinach, cooked onion, and softened bread crumb mixture. Mix well with clean hands combining all ingredients. Spray a medium baking sheet with non-stick spray and place the beef mixture in the middle, molding into a free-form loaf. (See picture below)
Sprinkle the top of meatloaf with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper then drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Bake for 1 hour in preheated 350 degree oven. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with red pepper gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
Directions for Sauce:
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in medium skillet. Add the bell pepper and cook over medium heat 4 minutes or until the peppers become soft. Add the minced garlic and saute another 1 minute. Transfer to a small plate and set aside. In the same skillet melt the remaining 4 Tbsp butter over low heat. Add the flour and whisk until blended and smooth. Whisk in the beef stock and continue whisking while cooking the gravy until it comes to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and worcestershire sauce. Add the red pepper and garlic mixture and stir. Remove from the heat and serve with meatloaf and potatoes.