Oldest Daughter has been on a journey to improve her general health and well-being over the past several months, and part of that includes learning to cook so that most of her meals aren’t consumed at restaurants or consist of tasteless offerings from the freezer section of the local supermarket. She’s been on me to tell her how to make a turkey meatloaf that doesn’t suck, which pretty much describes most of my previous attempts at making one.
First off, pretending ground turkey is a substitute for ground beef or pork is a losing proposition if you expect similar taste profiles out of the finished product. I know it is a healthier alternative, but anyone who tells you a turkey burger/meat sauce/meatloaf tastes just like the beef/pork/veal equivalent meal is just plain barking mad (or has a bad case of arrested taste buds).
So tonight I decided to treat ground turkey just like I would if it were Thanksgiving and I was cooking up the whole bird. With stuffing. And gravy. And naturally, I cooked it up outdoors on the BS Keg. In the rain, I might add.
The funky looking juices oozing out of it are a result of stabbing the meatloaf in several places to make sure it was fully cooked (165°F internal) and discovering it wasn’t quite there. Next time around I’ll poke it from the sides and ends so I don’t have the visual issues.
At any rate, here’s an approximation of the recipe I used for the turkey loaf.
- 2 lbs. ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 finely ground bread crumbs (Panko works great)
egoegg (pretty sure my ego won’t fit in a meatloaf)
- 1 tbs. dried thyme
- 1 tbs. ground sage
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbs. worcestershire sauce
Lightly sauté onions and celery in a dash of EVOO until onions are translucent. Mix all ingredients together well in a large bowl using your bare hands. Shape into a loaf and transfer to a grill pan. Smooth loaf to insure there are no visible cracks before putting it on the grill. Cook indirect over a 325-350°F fire until internal temperature reaches 165°F (about 45 minutes). Remove, slice, and enjoy.
The end result is quite tasty and somewhat reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner, especially with some nice mushroom gravy.
I suggest the health-conscious folks out there skip the mushroom gravy (one can cream of mushroom soup, half a can of milk and white wine, a teaspoon of worcestershire sauce, and about a 1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms heated to a boil and then simmered while the turkey loaf is cooking) as it likely doubles the calorie count of a slice of turkey loaf. The rosemary and garlic roasted red potatoes were a nice accompaniment, as was the steamed broccoli.
Best of all, it didn’t suck, and no ketchup was harmed in the cooking of this meal.