Meatloaf and wine!

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2009 at 4:41 am

I decided to make meatloaf for dinner, and I’m a big fan of my meatloaf, so I thought I’d share the recipe. I’m not trying to turn my wine blog into a food blog, and if you want to see an awesome food blog, you should check out Learning Life From Scratch. But anyways, here are the ingredients for meatloaf. (This is for 2 servings, so multiply accordingly.)

1/2 lb ground meat. (I used lean ground beef here, but I often do ground turkey, I wouldn’t really recommend doing it with pork, but if you want to try it, go nuts.)

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 handfuls of spinach

1/2 medium onion

eggs (2 egg whites or 1 whole egg.)



balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper

olive oil

Start your onions first. Dice them and put them in a pan with just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, let this sit on medium heat.

In the meantime, combine meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, salt and pepper in a bowl. Egg whites or whole eggs is up to you, I used just whites here.

When your onions begin to brown, take your spinach, chop it roughly, and put it in the pan with the onions. It may seem like a lot of spinach, but it will cook down. Put a lid on the pan for a few minutes until the spinach starts to wilt, then remove and let the onions and spinach continue to cook. You don’t want a lid on them at this point because you want some moisture to escape, otherwise you’ll get watery meatloaf.

While the spinach is cooking down, add your fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are awesome. Since it’s winter the only fresh herb I have in my garden is rosemary. Volume will of course vary depending on which herb you’re using. In this case, about 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary was plenty.

Once the spinach is cooked down, set the pan to the side to cool for a few minutes, then mix the whole lot together. Tonight I baked it in the toaster oven, but of course a normal oven will work too.

Start it cooking at 350, then go to work on your glaze. I went 50/50 ketchup-balsamic this time, which in retrospect was a little too vinegar-y. 2 parts ketchup to 1 part vinegar seems to be about right. Total volume depends how thick you want the layer of glaze to be. I used about 2 tablespoons of each, and gave the loaf one thorough coat early in the baking, and one more when it was done.

Accompaniments are of course up to you. In this case I did steamed kale and baked sweet potatoes.

Now, part of this whole adventure was that I had planned on having a bottle of 2006 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red with my meatloaf. I’ve been a big fan of this wine for a long time. It’s what I commonly refer to as a ‘Washington Kitchen Sink Blend,’ meaning it’s got everything in it but the kitchen sink. You see this fairly often in Washington because so many different varietals thrive there, so winemakers often make wines that blend together grapes that you don’t often see combined. The 2006 Firehouse is 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 21% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Sangiovese, 2% Carmenere, and 2% Malbec.

I hadn’t had Firehouse in a while, and though it was similar to what I remember, I was disappointed to find that it didn’t pair that well with the food. Tasting it while I was cooking, I found the oak character to be strong, though not overpowering. Even as I drink it now, having finished my meal, I get wild berries and smoked meats accompanying the mocha-vanilla overtones. However, when paired with the food, neither the food nor the wine benefited from the marriage, and I ended up setting the Firehouse aside and drinking a glass of 2007 Chauvenet Chopin Bourgogne Pinot Noir, which retails at the same price, and was a much better food wine.

The Firehouse Red will definitely remain one of my frequently recommended wines, but I will have to revise my previously held opinion that it is as good a food wine as it is a cocktail-party wine. The Chauvenet Chopin Bourgogne, on the other hand, is officially my new top pick for under $20 red Burgundy.

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