Around this time of year, meatloaf makes its way back into our family dinner rotation. Grated veggies, minced shallots and fresh bread crumbs deliver a consistently moist and tender meatloaf. The savory apricot-ketchup glaze adds the right amount of tang, making this belly warming entrée rather addictive!
4 TB of unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
2 celery ribs, grated
2 small carrots, peeled and grated
2 shallots, minced (¼ cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground turkey
1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs (about 3 slices of bread; see note)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (or large pinch of dried)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ cup apricot preserves
½ cup ketchup
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter.
In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add the celery, carrot, shallots, garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the vegetables soften but do not brown. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the sautéed vegetables and mix thoroughly with a large spoon or your hands. Form a loaf in the pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes until cooked all the way through.
Mix the apricot preserves and ketchup in a small bowl.
When meatloaf is done, spread the apricot-ketchup glaze on the top and let the meatloaf rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, covered, before serving.
Fresh breadcrumbs are more moist than dried and keep the meatloaf tender. Chop up several slices of bread into cubes. I use whole wheat but you can use white, sourdough or gluten free. Transfer cubes into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until bread is coarse and crumbly. The crumbs will be larger and more coarse than dried store-bought varieties.