CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Pepperjack Meatloaf

There was a time that the only place you could get a good meatloaf sandwich was at home. But these days, more and more restaurants are featuring this comfort food on their menus.

I was reminded of this recently when watching the Travel Channel, which regularly has a show about a particular kind of food that has gained popularity.

The network had an episode of “Food Paradise” that was a travel guide of places where you could get a heaping helping of this rib-sticking food, from “gooey mac ‘n’ cheese stuffed meatloaf in Florida to a burly barbecued meatloaf in Phoenix.”

I’ve written about meatloaf before, sharing recipes that came from my mom and a friend, Milt Kinzler, among others. Here is another one that caught my eye, which I hope to try soon. The meatloaf is stuffed with pepperjack cheese, which really piqued my interest.

Pepperjack Meatloaf
1 egg
¼ cup chopped onion
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1½ pounds lean ground beef
1 cup (4 ounces) pepper Jack cheese, divided
½ cup bread crumbs
1 cup salsa (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, onion, salt and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press half of the beef mixture onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of a greased 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle ¾ cup cheese over meat to within ½ inch of sides. Pat remaining beef mixture over cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with salsa if desired.

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