Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf

chorizo and beef meatloaf

Chorizo and Beef Meatloaf

Every once in awhile I do crave something very basic for dinner. Macaroni and cheese, lentil soup, and meatloaf often pop into my head when I am looking for some home cooking. No matter how hard I try it is pretty difficult to make an inspiring meatloaf. Sure you can play around with the meat mixture, add some hot sauce, or make it extra moist by draping it with bacon. I have tried all those variations. The meatloaf is always pretty good, but not what I would call extraordinary.

While leafing through some cookbooks from the western culinary tradition, I saw a ho-hum meatloaf recipe which had an added footnote. “For something special try mixing the ground beef with chorizo.” I filed the idea way back in my brain waiting for the time when I would have some ground beef and some chorizo at the same time. It turns out that this week the fates placed the two ingredients in my refrigerator and the “special” chorizo and beef meatloaf was born.

I wanted it to be moist without adding a bunch of fat. I finely diced some celery, onion, carrot, serrano peppers and garlic using the food processor, reducing the vegetables to a fine confetti. I also wanted to add some intensity so I added some fresh oregano and basil along with some ground cumin and curry powder. And to make sure it had a spicy topping I added some chipotle hot sauce to the usual mixture of ketchup, mustard, and honey which baked on top of the loaf for the final 30 minutes.

I can see why the cookbook author referred to this as something special. The spicy chorizo really added some zing to the meat mixture. The vegetables were spread throughout and gave the loaf an interesting texture and kept it moist. The hot sauce in the topping rounded out the spiciness of the whole meat loaf. If spicy is not your thing you could skip the serrano peppers and the hot sauce. You will still get some spice from the chorizo. But honestly, go for it! You only live once.

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