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Not Your Typical Meatloaf

Okay, so, remember my post the other day about the meatloaf that I made for dinner that I wanted to share with you? Well, it's not your typical meatloaf because this is my own creation on a whim and it actually turned out pretty good to the point the hubby told me that I can serve it at my next dinner party. I'm not really a meatloaf kind of girl... the name alone does not sound posh at all now does it? That's why I decided to create one that made it fun and worthy of my time slaving in the kitchen to make {giggling:}.

So here's how I made my own kind of 'not your typical' meatloaf.

2lbs. ground turkey {you can do beef if that's your preference}
5oz. diced pancetta
1 cup chopped portabella mushrooms {optional... I wanted the beefy woodsy taste & texture}
1 medium onion chopped
1 small can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups homemade breadcrumbs { you can use store bought ones too}
chopped fresh parsley {add as little or as much for your taste}
6 cloves garlic chopped {I love garlic!}
2 eggs lightly beaten
8 tbsp milk
2 cups gruyere cheese
2tbsp worcestershire sauce
2tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Make sure to place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray.

In a nonstick skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1tbsp of the pancetta fat and put in a small gravy pan.

In the same skillet, add the chopped onions, portabella mushrooms {set aside about 2tbsp of them}, garlic and cook about 7minutes. Add 1tsp pepper. Stir, turn off heat and let cool down.

In the meantime,  in a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, turkey, the pancetta onion/mushroom/garlic mixture, eggs, milk, gruyere cheese, salt {*remember the pancetta is a little salty, so go light on the salt}, and the rest of the pepper. Stir to combine {I get in there with my hands to make sure it's well-mixed..but whatever works for ya;}, don't overwork the meat so it doesn't turn out tough.

Now the fun part, put the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 375 for 55 minutes or so depending on your oven. Meatloaf is fully cooked when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice.

Now, you know how the typical meatloaf is usually slathered with some kind of tomato sauce on top before it gets put in the oven? Well, I opted for something different. I made a tomato mushroom sauce to serve on the side instead, and let me tell you, it brought that loaf to another level;)

Put the 1tbsp pancetta fat you reserved at the outset in a gravy pan.
Heat pan to medium heat. Add 1tbsp butter. Sautee your 2tbsp portabella mushrooms and onions for about 5minutes sprinkling on top the flour. Mix well. Add  the small can of tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. After liquid is cooled down, blend it. And Voila! You've got your gravy. Taste and season accordingly.

Put your sliced meatloaf/turkeyloaf on a serving platter and serve with vegetable or a side of your choice. I served mine with green beans and carrots... which I blanched for 2minutes and tossed with some sauteed onions, little drizzle of olive oil, herb de provence and some dashes of salt & pepper. BON APPETIT!

*I know my instructions look complicated. I promise you it's much easier to make than it appears. I'm an impatient person... I would never make something complicated. If you make it, please let me know how it turned out for you.

Have fun in the kitchen! You don't have to be a chef to cook like one;) 

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