Meatloaf divides us as a people. Some people are so profoundly dedicated to the version they ate growing up, they are unable to brook the recipe of another. There are those who cotton to pork, and others who swear a mix of two or three meats is best.
Ketchup or no ketchup? This question alone could start a minor Twitter war.
Me, I go all ways. My mother’s recipe was heavy on the beef, but yet I remember it fondly. I have made a spicy version I found here that is terrific. I am down with bobotie. Veal? Yeah I’ll try that. In summary: I am meatloaf promiscuous.
Because I get a weekly delivery of ground turkey meat, meatloaf occasionally crosses my mind. The thing I really like about Rosemary Turkey Meatloaf is that you are getting a lot of flavor out of few ingredients, which is sort of the gold standard of weeknight recipes, along with one-bowl preparation.
The key ingredient here is really the rosemary, which gives the meat both a distinctive flavor and a lovely aroma. Most of these ingredients you will have laying around the house – I do not keep seasoned breadcrumbs so I used panko mixed with oregano dried from my garden last summer – and my very best canned tomatoes.
Pause here to note I talk a lot about panko. It is the black boots of my pantry people, or, if you prefer, Spanx, because it just holds the world together.
You are dealing with poultry here, so what you have is a very solid texture. To mitigate this: do not over mix, do not over cook, make sure you are generous with your glaze and slice your dinner up thinly.
This meatloaf may not be mama’s, but it belongs in her family, sitting shyly at the table with the more aggressive members.
2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 15-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.
Photo by James Ransom