Black & Bleu Meatloaf

Black & Bleu Meat Loaf

Technically, it’s already spring here. But we had a cool, rainy day on Tuesday, and it seemed we could do with some comfort food anyway, so I whipped up one of my favorites.

My butcher used to always have Black & Blue Meatloaf in the case. It was delicious. For some reason, probably not enough people buying it, it disappeared. There are still a few people there who remember how to make it, but I have to call ahead and hope they’re not off that day. I decided it was time to try re-creating it at home. It took me a couple of attempts, but it was well worth the effort!

When I was growing up, Roquefort cheese was all the rage, according to my mom. Then the folks in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon got wind of all the knock-offs out there, and eventually, laws were passed restricting the use of the name to cheeses actually produced in Roquefort. Similar cheeses produced elsewhere began calling themselves “Bleu Cheese,” presumably trying to retain some sophistication and prestige by using the French spelling of “blue.” I haven’t chosen the French spelling because I’m a snob, but because while I like the alliteration of “Black & Bleu,” the English spelling conjures up unpleasantness. I’ve made the meatloaf with a combination of beef and pork. If you prefer to avoid pork, you could use all beef. Conversely, use all pork if you prefer to avoid beef. If anyone ever gives it a go with turkey or tofu, let me know how it worked out!

I made two mistakes in the early development of this recipe. One was compacting the mixture too much while forming the loaf. It’s so tempting to make a tight loaf — it’s easier to handle, and it stays in its shape while you roll it in the pepper. Don’t. It just ends up dense and unpalatable. The second mistake was using meat that was too lean. I was hoping to nudge the meatloaf a little closer to heart-healthy. Nope. Just ends up tough and dry. I’ve seen meatloaf pans that have an insert with drainage holes so that the loaf sits in the top pan to cook and the fat drains out into the bottom pan. That might be the way to go if you want to cut down on fat. But let’s be honest here, this is serious comfort food, and sometimes that means a little less attention to what you “should” eat. (Nutrition notes: I’ve used fat-free milk only because that’s what was in the fridge. Any kind will do. I’ve called a serving two slices because I’ve yet to serve this to anyone who wanted to stop at one. Those with a smaller appetite will, of course, halve all the numbers in the nutrition chart.)

Ingredients:

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1pound (454 g) ground beef, 85% lean

1 pound (454 g)  ground pork, 85% lean

3 slices of bread (I used white, but whole wheat should work, too)

⅓ cup fat-free milk (79 ml), may substitute whatever kind you have

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

4 ounces (114 g) crumbled bleu cheese

½ cup (about 6 g) fresh parsley leaves

2 teaspoons Penzeys or Diamond Crystal kosher salt, divided

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons cracked or coarsely ground black pepper

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350º F (177º C). Remove and discard the bread crusts, or save them for another use. Roughly tear the bread into chunks and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the milk in, and toss to coat. Set aside.

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2.) While the bread sits, mince the onion, garlic, and parsley.

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3.) Smash the milky bread with the back of a spoon until it’s a uniformly wet, gloppy mess.

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4.) Add the onion, garlic, parsley, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the eggs to the bowl. Blend, starting at low speed (so you don’t inadvertently redecorate your kitchen). Increase speed to medium-high as able, and blend until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally as needed.

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5.) Add about a third of each of the meats to the bowl. Start at low speed again, increasing as able, to blend thoroughly.

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6.) Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently hand mix the rest of the meat in. I like to use food service gloves for this, as I’m not fond of trying to get meat and fat particles out from under my nails, but they’re not strictly necessary. The mixture doesn’t have to be perfectly uniform; in fact, you want to avoid over-handling it. Just mix enough to break up any clumps of meat and evenly distribute the ingredients.

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7.) Now gently hand-mix the cheese into the meat. Again, only mix as much as necessary to evenly distribute the cheese.

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8.) Loosely form the mixture into one large or two smaller loaves, being careful not to compact it too much. I made 2 small ones this time. Your choice here will, of course, affect your cooking time. Sprinkle the pepper on a plate or baking sheet. Gently roll the meatloaf in the pepper, then sprinkle with the remaining salt.

9.) Place the meatloaf in a baking dish or loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160º F (71º C). Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest for several minutes before slicing.

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Black & Bleu Meatloaf

Ingredients

1pound (454 g) ground beef, 85% lean

1 pound (454 g)  ground pork, 85% lean

3 slices of bread

⅓ cup fat-free milk (79 ml), may substitute whatever kind you have

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

4 ounces (114 g) crumbled bleu cheese

½ cup (about 6 g) fresh parsley leaves

2 teaspoons Penzeys or Diamond Crystal kosher salt, divided

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons cracked or coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 350º F (177º C). Remove and discard the bread crusts, or save them for another use. Roughly tear the bread into chunks and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the milk in, and toss to coat. Set aside.

2.) While the bread sits, mince the onion, garlic, and parsley.

3.) Smash the milky bread with the back of a spoon until it’s a uniformly wet, gloppy mess.

4.) Add the onion, garlic, parsley, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the eggs to the bowl. Blend, starting at low speed (so you don’t inadvertently redecorate your kitchen). Increase speed to medium-high as able, and blend until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally as needed.

5.) Add about a third of each of the meats to the bowl. Starting at low speed again, increasing as able, blend thoroughly.

6.) Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently hand mix the rest of the meat in. I like to use food service gloves for this, as I’m not fond of trying to get meat and fat particles out from under my nails, but they’re not strictly necessary. The mixture doesn’t have to be perfectly uniform; in fact, you want to avoid over-handling it. Just mix enough to break up any clumps of meat and evenly distribute the ingredients.

7.) Now gently hand-mix the cheese into the meat. Again, only mix as much as necessary to evenly distribute the cheese.

8.) Loosely form the mixture into one large or two smaller loaves, being careful not to compact it too much. Your choice here will, of course, affect your cooking time. Sprinkle the pepper on a plate or baking sheet. Gently roll the meatloaf in the pepper, then sprinkle with the remaining salt.

9.) Place the meatloaf in a baking dish or loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (for two small loaves), until the internal temperature reaches 160º F (71º C). Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest for several minutes before slicing.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. chefkreso says:

    Few ingredients and you get such a yummy dish!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      It is really yummy! Thanks for stopping by & commenting 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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