Thursday, May 9, 2013

Grilled Meatloaf

If you live in a temperate climate, you might not understand the excitement.  Or you have those 'we grill all year around!' people.  They also aren't as giddy as I when the cover gets taken off the grill for the first time each spring.  Sure...I'll fire up a batch of wings on the grill once or twice during the winter, but for the most part, the cold season is a needed break from cooking outdoors.  When the warmth finally arrives each year, a dominant amount of dinners for the next 5 months are prepared on my trusty Weber 3-burner gas grill, or the little Weber charcoal guy when I really want do it right.  No animal or vegetable is safe from May through October.  But before we break out the usual steaks, brats, potatoes, asparagus and brined chops, here is a meal everyone has enjoyed with a unique twist on the preparation.  You may have seen my previous recipe for this classic comfort food, now let's take it outside.
Sometimes grilling is just like cooking in the oven, as in this recipe, only it's not underneath your roof.  During the dog days of August we rely on the grill almost every night so we don't heat up a kitchen that's already conditioned to remove excess heat and moisture, two things a gas oven yields.

While this tasty protein denatures on your grill, you've got about 45 minutes to mow the lawn, pull some weeds, plant some flowers, sand an old table, wash your ride, clean the gutters, or maybe just pull out the lawn furniture and pop a squat.  Don't forget to order those cedar planks you'll need this summer to prepare this delicious meal.   
Grilled Meatloaf
serves 4, plus a 1 yr old if you have one
1 large or 2 small-medium yellow onions, diced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef, 80-85% lean
1 lb ground pork
2 TB chopped cilantro
2 large eggs
3/4 C panko bread crumbs
1 ts Kosher salt
1/4 ts freshly cracked black pepper
Sweat the onion in a skillet over low heat with some extra virgin olive oil for about 6-8 minutes, until soft but not browned.  Sweating=low heat, you shouldn't hear a loud sizzle, that's sauteing.  To sweat is to just remove the moisture from the vegetable.  Add in the garlic for the last minute or two.  Set aside to let cool.

Fire up your grill to medium heat, 375°F. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat two eggs.  Add the bread crumbs, cilantro, salt and pepper, and the beef and pork.  Mix thoroughly but gently with your clean hands.
Take a large sheet of tinfoil and spray lightly with pam or brush with some olive oil.  Place the mixture on top and shape into a loaf, mine was 9X4X2.  That's inches.  Wrap the meatloaf with the foil.  Place another piece of foil on the top and wrap around the bottom and sides, so the loaf is double-wrapped. 

Place the loaf on your grill and cook for about 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.  The loaf is done when the internal temp reaches 170°F.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes before unwrapping and slicing.  Serve with your favorite bbq sauce and garnish with cilantro. 

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