Friday, July 6, 2012

Swine Symphony

My boyfriend Kyle came up with the name for this little gem.  I had decided to make mini meatloaf bites and was going to make them in a mini muffin pan, but then I remembered I have a tea cake pan.  It makes tiny little cakes with a nice cavity that you can fill with frosting, or, in this case, mashed potatoes.

Anyway, I did some tweaking to my normal meatloaf recipe and think I've finally perfected it!

24 mini meatloaves

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground sirloin
1 12 ounce package ground chorizo
1 package bacon
3 eggs
3 tbsp thai chili garlic sauce (or to taste)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sea salt (or to taste)
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup panko crumbs

Mashed potatoes (your recipe!)
Basil leaf

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease the pan you are using (here's an example of the one I used: Tea Cake Pan) with cooking spray.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  This is a pretty messy process so if you don't like the idea of wet, raw ground meat stuck under your fingernails, I'd suggest you wear gloves.  It's probably the most sanitary thing to do anyway.

Now at this point you have to make a choice.  You can taste the raw meat for seasoning, or you can guess.  I chose to guess and just poured in a bunch of salt and spices.  Or, you can cook just one, then taste it and adjust for seasoning.

Shape the meat and fill the pan about 3/4 full, as these do swell a bit when cooking.  Place in the oven. These meatloaves will cook fast, about 8-12 minutes per pan.  While the meatloaf is in the oven, cook the bacon in a skillet until just cooked but still pliable (not crisp).  When the meatloaves are done, remove from the oven and turn over onto paper towels to drain the grease.

Now, for assembly!  Take 1/2 a slice of bacon and wrap around the outside of each meatloaf, securing with a toothpick. If you want the bacon more crisp, you can throw it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.

Fill a pastry or ziplock bag with the mashed potatoes (make sure they are at least lukewarm or they won't squeeze out easily) and pipe some into each meatloaf.  Garnish with basil, if desired and serve.  Yay!

Tips:  I used roasted garlic mashed potatoes to give this recipe even more flavor.  These can also be pre-cooked, filled and garnished, then reheated in the oven for just about 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Look at me... what an idiot, I submitted this for a recipe contest and didn't win.  Wait, it wasn't me that was the idiot, it was the judges!!!!!!!!!

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