The beef, it is not here
August 24, 2019 3:41 PM   Subscribe

My son told me his favorite food is meatloaf. I'm trying to cut back our family's beef consumption. Do you have a favorite nonbeef loaf?

We have no allergies. He prefers a meatloaf style without a lot of visible vegetables (although he's a good sport about them.) I guess my best bet is replacement with turkey? How could I make it beefier? Should I use 3/4 turkey and 1/4 beef? 3/5 turkey, 1/5 beef, 1/5 chopped mushrooms?

I'd love links to recipes to your fave non-beef meatloafs.
posted by purpleclover to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really like the PCC turkey meatloaf. It does have pretty big chunks of veggies but you could easily mitigate that by using a food processor to chop them finely. The secret is probably using dark turkey meat, which is vastly less dry.

I bet if you were to experiment with adding rendered chicken fat into your leaner meat mixtures you would hit something really succulent.
posted by Mizu at 3:47 PM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is not going to be confused with meatloaf, but Seventh-Day-Adventist-style vegan loaf is a classic for a reason. I love meatloaf and my husband despises it, but this scratches some of my meatloaf itches without hitting his meatloaf triggers.

Leftovers do make amazing sandwiches also.
posted by BrashTech at 4:05 PM on August 24, 2019 [7 favorites]


We don't do beef either in this house. I just use 1/3 turkey or chicken, 1/3 pork and 1/3 lamb. I have done just turkey and pork.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 4:21 PM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Amy's Vegan Loaf ranks most healthy in this rundown of frozen meatloaf dinners ...
posted by WCityMike at 4:23 PM on August 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


This is my family’s favorite meatloaf recipe. It was years before my husband found out it was turkey and not beef (because he saw the package). I always add a sliced stalk each of celery and carrot (sautéed with the onion) but that’s not even called for in the recipe.

We’ve recently had to move to gluten free dinners and it also works well with quick oats substituted for the breadcrumbs.
posted by Kriesa at 4:23 PM on August 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


The secret to a beefy ground-turkey dish is anchovies. Both turkey meatloaf recipes linked above use Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies, but you can beef up any turkey meatloaf by adding some chopped anchovies to the skillet with the veggies when they're close to done.
posted by skymt at 4:26 PM on August 24, 2019 [18 favorites]


All of these people are off their cooking rockers. The secret to turkey meatloaf is A1 with a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce. It adds colur, flavour depth and the unidentifiable yet magical anchovies.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:00 PM on August 24, 2019 [8 favorites]


Here is my turkey meatloaf recipe:

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, grated
1 t. fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 t. cayenne
3/4 c. panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. milk
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. salt
1/2-3/4 t. pepper
1 egg
1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 T. Dijon mustard
7 oz. roasted red peppers, chopped (most of a 10 oz. jar)
1/2 – 1 c. fresh parsley, chopped
2 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. molasses
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 t. cayenne

1. Over medium-low heat in your favorite saute pan, cook the onion and carrot with a sprinkle of salt and olive oil until translucent and taking color. Took me about 10-20 minutes. I’ll never understand people who think they can cook onions in 2-4 minutes. Allow to cool.

1.5. This is a good time to get your oven going at 400 degrees.

2. In large bowl combine other ingredients. Maybe leave the turkey for last. Or not. I’m not your supervisor.

3. Mix in the onion/carrot mixture and turkey. I recommend using your hands with some gloves. Get it real good.

4. Put the (it’s going to be pretty wet) mixture into a loaf pan. You probably want to have sprayed some oil into the pan. Now, get out your sheet pan. Line it with aluminium foil. Plop that loaf pan upside-down onto the sheet plan and pull it off, hopefully leaving a loaf-shaped pile of meat on the pan.

5. In a little bowl off to the side, mix together the ketchup, molasses, sugar, vinegar and cayenne. Brush half of that (gently) on the loaf-shaped pile of meat you have there.

6. Insert your probe thermometer into the center of the meat pile and get it in the oven. Cook until it’s about 155 degrees, which took about 40 minutes in the experiment.

7. Pull out the meat and turn the oven up to 500. Brush the rest of the ketchup stuff on the meat, and when the oven is good and hot, put the loaf back in until gets some browning. Took me about 5 minutes.

8. LET THE GODDAMN MEAT REST. Give it about 15 minutes.

9. Eat the goddamn meat. Think: Well I’ll be goddamned. This isn’t actually that bad.
posted by General Malaise at 5:33 PM on August 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


A friend who often prepares vegan meals has used Beyond Meat burgers for meatloaf and says it's fantastic.
posted by kate4914 at 5:39 PM on August 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


A baked kibbeh (if unstuffed) is basically a meatloaf with much of the ground meat swapped out for bulgur/cracked wheat.
posted by praemunire at 5:52 PM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


i can't believe no one here puts mushrooms in their meatloaves, your lives must be so sad and empty.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:01 PM on August 24, 2019 [21 favorites]


If it doesn't have to taste like a traditional beef meatloaf, my favorite meatloaf recipe is non-beef (although I do eat beef) and comes from Bonnie Stern's Friday Night Dinners cookbook. It is very easy! I'm paraphrasing the directions but this is how I make it:

Chicken Meatloaf with Barbecue Sauce

The Loaf
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lb ground chicken
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I use about a teaspoon of dried parsley instead most of the time)
1 cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs

Topping
2 tbsp barbecue sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, eggs, the 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce, salt, cumin, parsley, breadcrumbs, onion, and garlic. Mix together lightly.

3. Either place chicken mixture in a 9x5" loaf pan or simply shape an approximate 9x5" mound of it onto a big cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover with parchment paper. Bake in 350/180 oven for 1 hour.

4. Uncover, smear with the barbecue sauce topping and bake for 30 minutes longer. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Makes 8 servings
posted by bananana at 6:22 PM on August 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


If he's open to non-traditional loaves, the Thai-inspired turkey meatloaf from Budget Bytes is DELICIOUS and the recipe makes a loaf approximately the size of a newborn human.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 8:03 PM on August 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


The A Cantonese version of meatloaf is the steamed minced pork pie, usually made with re-hydrated sundried Chinese ("shitake") mushrooms. I like mine with water chestnuts chunks (when in season) and chunks of bamboo shoots in addition.

Ground pork is ... fine... but the ideal is mincing it by hand with a cleaver. PITA, but actually makes a huge difference. This is the "love" that a machine can't evaluate food on, to be willing to put in the skilled but tedious labour to create a thing.

Anyway, the trick is polymerizing the pork protein; Western style ground pork, steamed, is a pebbly crumbly mess. Stirring the ground/ minced meat in a large bowl unidirectionally in a certain way polymerizes the released proteins and improves the coherency of the minced meat and improves mouthfeel.

After polyerization, the extra ingredients are added and it's pressed into a high-sided dish and steamed. Cracking a (raw) salted duck egg on top is aces - break and spread the yolk before steaming.
posted by porpoise at 10:25 PM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Beef bouillon (granules or crushed cube) added to ground turkey gets you part of the way.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:32 AM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is my go to turkey meatloaf recipe. Mushrooms are key here - I use plain old white button myself.
posted by rdnnyc at 5:23 AM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


If you can get ground chicken thighs, I highly recommend them over turkey. But I know it isn't easy to find it in stores.
posted by kathrynm at 7:02 AM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Almost any ground meat. I like lamb and pork meatloaf.
posted by terrapin at 7:10 AM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


This meatloaf (Thai Turkey Meatloaf via Budget Bytes) is my all-time favourite - it's not pretty (as she warns) but oh, wow, it's so good. And simple. And cheap!
posted by VioletU at 8:34 AM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Seconding beyond meat or any similar substitute. You generally don't have to change much especially with Beyond Meat.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 10:04 AM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Seconding the anchovies suggestion. They don't taste fishy in small quantities, and add a nice umami pop. Since I don't use then that often, I don't buy the little fish, I use anchovy paste.
posted by Marky at 1:54 PM on August 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


N-thing the anchovy rec.

One other thing I would recommend if your kid loves meatloaf that might help him branch out ever so slightly: Romanian chiftele (meatballs). They're essentially garlic heavy meatloaf formed into little balls and fried. They have the same kind of magical bread/meat ratio as meatloaf and they respond well to being made with a combination of pork and turkey.

Family recipes for this are pretty idiosyncratic, but this recipe is pretty solid.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:25 PM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


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