Gluten-Free Ricotta Stuffed Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a staple in nearly every American household, but did you know it has European origins? It was mentioned in as early as the 5th century in the famous Roman cookery collection Apicus. Made of minced meat, it is a traditional German, Scandinavian, and Belgian dish, and a cousin to the Dutch meatball. It can be made with ground beef, lamb, pork, veal, venison, poultry, or seafood. But did you know that American meatloaf was originally Gluten-free? Its origins came from a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since as far back as the Colonial times. You can get as creative as you want with it! Some cultures add vegetables, wrap it in ham or bacon, many stuff their meatloaf with hardboiled eggs, and sometimes they stuff them with cheeses (which is what we’ll be doing today.) Meatloaf can commonly go two ways: Delicious, or Dry. I prefer the first, of course, so I make my meatloaf like the Dutch: as a giant Meatball (except Italian-style!) So grab your Parchment Paper, 9x13in Baking Dish, and let’s stuff us a DELICIOUS Meatloaf!

Ingredients:

Meatball Mixture:
1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef (80% lean)
3 tbsp. Sofrito
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/4 tsp dried Basil
1/4 tsp dried Parsley
2/3 cup Breadcrumbs (gluten-free Italian, 4C is a good brand)
2/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Eggs
Ketchup (to top before baking- I use Organic)
1/2 tsp Chili Powder (optional)
Ricotta Mixture:
1 (15 oz) tub of Ricotta (Galbani brand is gluten-free and sulfite-free)
¼ c Grated Parmesan
1 tsp Paprika
1/3 c fresh Parsley
1 tsp dried Oregano
2 cloves minced Garlic
1 tbsp milk (I use 2 % Lactaid to reduce Lactose as much as possible)
1 tsp chopped Shallot (optional)
Directions:
1. Mix Ground Beef in Sofrito, Onions, Garlic, Basil and Parsley with hands, until just incorporated. Cover, and place in refrigerator for 2-4 hours to marinate.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Add remaining ingredients to ground beef, and mix with hands until incorporated.
4. Flatten out into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle, roughly 7x10inches.
Ricotta Mixture
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5. Mix Ricotta ingredients together thoroughly (I use a food processor, add all ingredients, and puree.)
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6. Place Ricotta mixture into center of meat rectangle, using the parchment paper, fold the meat rectangle over the Ricotta mixture, forming a “Log.” Seal the Seams of the “Log.”
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7. Spray the 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place Log SEAM-SIDE DOWN. Cover top with thin layer of Ketchup. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until cooked thoroughly and no pink remains.
8. Let rest 10 minutes. ENJOY!
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