Barefoot Contessa's Turkey Meatloaf

Several years ago, we hosted a French student who was visiting her friend, a foreign exchange student at our local high school. One evening, I presented Sophie with an all-American meal—meatloaf and mashed potatoes. She seemed to like it. I think it's kind of universal. Barefoot Contessa's recipe is my favorite and can easily be modified. Cut it in half for a smaller batch, and substitute beef for turkey if you prefer, or a combination of beef and pork. The turkey has such a great flavor though. It's even better if you use a combination of ground light and dark meat. And if you hate ketchup because it's disgusting, and everyone should hate it, use barbecue sauce instead.

serves 8 to 10

3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
5 pounds ground turkey breast
1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium sauté pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours* until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.

*If you cut this in half and only use 2 or so pounds of meat, this will be cooked in an hour.

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