Not April Fool, but April fun: a fun surprise for dinner. This cheese stuffed meatloaf recipe came to us from Roth Cheese, created by Meggan Hill, executive chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen.
Meggan gave her mom’s meatloaf a “cheese upgrade” using Roth Organic Havarti cheese. “The leftovers make great sandwiches, too,” she says.
You can use your own mom’s recipe, of course.
And you can use any good melting cheese: Cheddar, Fontina, Gruyere, mozzarella*, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Provolone, and numerous others.
National Meatloaf Day is October 18th. National Cheese Day is June 4th.
1. HEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or dish with foil for easy cleanup.
2. COMBINE in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a spatula, the beef, onion, eggs, oats, ½ cup ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix on the lowest speed until combined.
3. RINSE a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with water. Pack the meat mixture tightly into the pan. Leaving a ½-inch wall on each side…
4. CARVE out a well about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide and set aside the meat you pulled out. Fill the well with the shredded cheese. Using the reserved meat mixture, cover and seal the shredded cheese carefully and thoroughly.
5. FLIP the pan over and carefully jiggle out the loaf onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes and remove from oven.
6. INCREASE the oven temperature to 400°F. Brush the remaining ¼ cup of ketchup all over the meatloaf. Return to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before serving.
*Why isn’t mozzarella capitalized? All of the other cheeses are formal place names. Monterey Jack has two formal names! Mozzarella, on the other hand, is named after its specific production process. In Italian, the verb mozzare refers to the way the curd is hand-stretched in strips and then cut into balls. Food history: The term “mozzarella” first appeared in print in 1570, in a cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi, chef to the papal court. However, the cheese may have existed for centuries prior. Cheese-making with water buffalo’s milk was first recorded in the 12th century, although the name “mozzarella” was not used.
Although it used to be made exclusively with water buffalo’s milk, modern mozzarella is mainly produced with the less expensive cow’s milk. The old-style buffalo’s milk version is P.D.O.-protected (Protected Designation of Origin). When you buy Mozzarella di Bufala Campana P.D.O. or A.O.C., you are guaranteed that the cheese is made according to traditional techniques defined in A.O.C. label specifications, with water buffalo’s milk from four regions of Southern Italy (Campania, Latium, Puglia, and Molise) and part of the provinces of Benevento, Rome, Naples, Frosinone, Latina, Foggia, and Isiernia [source]. Not to get too detailed!
†This means 80% lean, 20% fat. That might sound like a lot of fat, but a large amount of the fat will render out as the meat cooks.
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