Parmesan Pork Meatloaf
Yesterday, it suddenly occurred to me that it had been a long time since I had done a meatloaf. It seemed like such a good idea that I at once took a package of lean ground pork out of the freezer. I had been thinking about doing more with ground pork, so when I packaged the meat after the last Costco run, I separated the pork into 3 pound batches. By Sunday morning, the pork had completely thawed and was ready to go.
This is the recipe I had decided to use for the pork meatloaf.
3 pounds lean ground pork
2 packages dry onion soup mix (should have used 1½ packages)
2 eggs (beaten)
1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups bottled Marinara sauce
3 TBS Italian seasoning
3 HEAPING TBS granulated garlic
Pepper to taste
Sliced Extra Old White Cheddar Cheese
Pecan Pellets for smoke
****DO NOT ADD SALT TO THE MIX.*** The onion soup mix is very salty.
After mixing together all the ingredients except for the Cheddar Cheese and the smoked paprika, I covered the bowl and left it in the fridge for about 6 hours to let the flavors meld and get happy together. This gave me time to do some yard work—washing a quad and power washing off all the mud that had hardened on the driveway since last Fall.
Later today, I fired up the MES 30 and set it to run at 240*. This, of course, meant that my cooking temperature would vary between 230 and 255*, and hopefully average out around 240*. I would be applying Pecan smoke the entire time.
While the MES was heating, I formed the meatloaf mixture into 2 separate pieces, flattening and shaping them for later. I applied a fairly generous coating of my smoked paprika to each half and laid out the cheese slices on what would be the bottom half of the meatloaf.
Then, with great care, I put the top and bottom halves of the meatloaf together. This took some doing, as the meatloaf was pretty big and somewhat fragile.
Overall, it looked pretty good, and I was pleased with the appearance. I had deliberately made the meatloaf long, wide, and fairly thin. I figured that it would cook a whole lot evener with that shape.
At 4:10 PM the meatloaf went into the MES, which was cooperating temperature wise (240*) and smoking nicely.
At about 5:30 PM I checked the internal temperature of the pork, but it was only at 132*. The meatloaf IT finally hit 245* at 6:10 PM—5 minutes shy of the 2 hours I had expected.
The meat come off the grill and was tented with foil for about 15 minutes, and then carved. Even though it was lean ground pork, as you can see there was no shortage of fat and juices running out of the meatloaf.
Supper tonight was meatloaf, Jasmine rice, corn, and homemade coleslaw. The meatloaf was moist and delicious. Moist, but oddly enough, not juicy. I had hoped for a finished product that was juicy, and had added extra marinara sauce to obtain that result—apparently it didn’t work. So, next time I’ll add some more sauce and see how that comes out. The 2 packages of onion soup mix added just a little too much salt—next time, I’ll use 1½ packages. I had originally planned to use 1 1/2 packages, but got lazy and used the full 2.
All in all, I’m very pleased with the meatloaf (and more importantly, so is Miss Linda). Great flavor and texture. The Parmesan cheese flavor was very predominant, but surprisingly, the marinara sauce added little to the overall taste. The finished meatloaf has good color and if you look VERY closely, you just might be able to see the 1/16 inch thick smoke ring. LOL.
Thanks for looking
EDIT: I forgot to add the bread crumbs to the ingredients list. Sorry. Its there now
Edited by GaryHibbert - 5/2/16 at 8:39am