February 21, 2011
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Authentic Jamaican meatloaf is made from spiced beef wrapped in a dough called coco bread and rather resembles a calzone. My interpretation omits the wrapping and adds some pork to the beef but uses typical jerk seasoning and traditional techniques. The British brought many Indians to the Caribbean in the early 19th century as indentured servants and the cooking styles of the region reflect their influence. Another change I have made is to substitute steel-cut oats for the bread crumbs that would typically be used to avoid gluten. If that is not a problem for you just revert to bread crumbs. For the full island experience, serve this meatloaf with baked sweet potatoes, spinach (or callaloo if you can find it), and a cold glass of Red Stripe beer. Enjoy, mon!
- ½ cup steel-cut oats
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tobago seasoning peppers or 1 habanero, depending on how hot you like your food.
- 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
- Neutral cooking oil, I use canola
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. ground allspice
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- ½ pound lean ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum, optional
- ¼ cup beef stock or water
Rinse the oats, cover with cold water, and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes.
Using a food processor chop the onion rather finely and remove to a bowl. Mince the garlic then the pepper in the food processor. Film a non-stick frying pan with oil and add the onion. Fry, stirring often and adding more oil if needed, until soft and just starting to color. Add the pepper, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until well browned then add the pepper and allspice. Fry for a few more minutes until very aromatic. Set aside to cool.
Mix the beef and pork together well in a large bowl. Drain the oats and mix in along with the onion and spice mixture. Lightly beat the egg and add it with the salt, rum, and water. Mix everything well and turn into a lightly oiled 5-inch by 10-inch loaf pan, pressing gently to eliminate air pockets. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and quickly invert the loaf pan onto it so that the loaf comes out. Bake for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.