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Sausage Studded Beef & Turkey Meatloaf has more flavor than traditional meatloaves because it combines a full pound of both Italian pork and turkey sausages into the mixture.
Sausage Studded Beef & Turkey Meatloaf is a clear winner for a weeknight supper, not only because it’s a crowd-pleaser, but also because it just so happens to be easy. This comforting meatloaf recipe is straightforward and downright tasty. Moreover, it has more flavor than traditional meatloaves because it combines a full pound of both pork and turkey sausages into the mixture. The profile can be altered to mild or spicy simply depending on the type of sausage you select. For my meatloaves today (yes, two meatloaves so there’ll be leftovers for sandwiches!), I have incorporated both sweet Italian ground pork sausage, and two mild Italian turkey sausages that I’ve removed from the casings. I’m serving alongside browned butter whipped potatoes and some honey-glazed baby carrots for my critics…
Why the combination of lean ground beef and fatty pork? Well, pork fat tastes better, and that’s all there is to it.
So, the idea behind this meatloaf grew out of a long discussion I had with my Mom about NOT loving her meatloaf. I’m a rotten kid, right? Maybe not rotten, just not a meatloaf fan, period. But I was making meatballs about a month back and decided to add hot Italian sausage to change things up, and the end result was amazing. If playing around with meatballs generated success, why not re-invent meatloaf?
Nothing beats a good old ketchup-based glaze for topping meatloaf.
I started out with just turkey and added the turkey sausage. Meh. Dry and particularly uneventful. No one wants to eat a slab of dry, flavorless ground meat, least of all ME. My second go at it was a bit more on par with the addition of equal parts beef and turkey. But the turkey sausage was still not adding the umpf. Enter in sweet Italian pork sausage…just half a pound. And okay, add the turkey sausage just because I have it. Adding some ground pork to meatloaf is very typical in many recipes you come across because it contributes both flavor and fat, allowing you to use lean ground beef. Why the combination of lean ground beef and fatty pork? Pork fat tastes better. That’s all there is to it. It’s also important to cook the herbs and vegetables for a bit before adding them to the meatloaf mix. This allows the flavors of the herbs and spices to bloom and get happy with one another. It also allows the vegetables to caramelize slightly boosting their flavor.
Possibly the BEST part of this recipe is that it yields two individual meatloaves, so the second may be cooked, then frozen for another night.
My Grandmother made a scrumptious meatloaf, which is not surprising because she made scrumptious everything, but I’d like to think she’d have approved of and made this meatloaf. Tender ground beef, lean turkey, Italian sausage for the gusto, plenty of fresh herbs and sautéed vegetables for moisture, panko and eggs to bind, and of course, a good old ketchup-based glaze. What’s not to love?
Ingredients for Sausage Studded Beef & Turkey Meatloaf
2 tablespoons high quality olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped, about a cup
2 ribs celery, chopped, about a cup
2 medium carrots, grated, about a cup *optional
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I use Dorot)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
12 tablespoons ketchup, divided
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
12 ounces ground turkey breast
8 ounces ground pork sausage, mild or hot
8 ounces Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery (and grated carrot if using). Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add garlic. Using the residual heat in the pan, cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Use a wooden spoon to spread mixture into a thin layer in the pan. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Add eggs, panko, 6 tablespoons of the ketchup, parsley, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the mixture to the beef, turkey, pork and sausage and mix well with your hands until combined. Divide between the prepared pans.
Bake the meatloaves until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160 degrees F, 30 to 40 minutes.
Brush the meatloaves with the remaining 6 tablespoons ketchup. Turn the broiler to high. Broil the meatloaves until the ketchup is bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes in the loaf pan(s) before slicing. Remove from the pan(s) to achieve equally sized slices. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
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