Sunday, December 18, 2016
Caramelized Onion Smoked Meatloaf, Finished on the Grill
The balmy winter of 2015-16 is a thing of the past. The 2016-17 winter is shaping up to be like any other winter around here. Windy, cold, and snowy. This year I have plowed and shoveled as much if not more than I did last year. Time to think about some comfort food.
One dish that I have not had in a very long time is meatloaf. I had a craving for some on a recent cold and windy Saturday. I have been wanting to try cooking one on the smoker for quite some time now. With the Girls baking Christmas cookies in the kitchen on this day, making this meal on the smoker and grill kept me out of the kitchen. A plan came together.
Caramelized Onion Smoked Meatloaf
2 lb ground chuck. I used the 80:20 as I was going to lose fat during the smoking and I didn't want to dry it out on the grill
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Used as a binder for a gluten challenged friend.
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp celery salt
Olive oil for caramelizing the onion
First, I diced the onion and slowly caramelized the over low heat until half of the onions were caramelized and half were still tendercrisp. Then I placed the ground meat and the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl and incorporated the onions. Next, I placed the mixture into a well greased loaf pan. Once the loaf was formed, I placed the pan outside into the 20 F weather for about 40 minutes to firm up the meat so it would slide out of the pan in one piece.
I set up my smoker to run at 300 F and added some pecan chunks to the firebox for some smoke. I slid the meatloaf out of the pan onto a cookie sheet, then I placed the cookie sheet into the smoker.
I was shooting for 135 F as an internal temperature for the meatloaf. After an hour, the temperature was 140 F. So, I removed the cookie sheet and let it sit outside in the cold weather to firm up for slicing. While I was waiting on the meatloaf to cool, I fired up a chimney of lump charcoal to grill off my slices.
I apparently did not get all of the air out of my meatloaf before cooking as I did have some splitting after the smoking.
But, I was still able to get some slices out of the loaf. As you can see, it was still pink in the middle. Just was I was shooting for.
I then took the slices of meatloaf out to the grill for a quick sear. The fire had gone down in intensity a bit, so I ended up grilling them off for about 4 minutes a side. Yes, the picture is not the best...
I served the meatloaf with some gravy, roasted garlic, dill, and feta mashed potatoes, and some oven roasted broccoli.
I decided on the grilling step as I generally do not like smoked ground beef. It has a tendency to dry out and have a grainy mouth feel as well as become over smoked. But, this meatloaf was good stuff. The smoke flavor was not overpowering. The taste was a blend of the taste you remember from the meatloaf you had as a child, along with that good char you get from the grill. I need to tweak the spices in the meat. But, I deem this a successful first pass. How do I know? The leftovers were gone the next day.
Thanks for stopping by,