Mexicana Meatloaf with Cilantro Pesto and Crispy Tortilla Strips

Total Time:
3 hr 15 min
Prep:
1 hr 20 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
1 hr 25 min

Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Mexicana Meatloaf:
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 ounces brisket, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 pound fresh chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • One 16-ounce can black beans, drained
  • One 15-ounce can sweet corn, drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cilantro Pesto:
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Crispy Tortilla Strips:
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 6 corn tortillas, sliced into thin strips
  • Kosher salt
Directions
  • For the meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the panko and milk and set aside.

  • Place the brisket and sirloin on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up. (This will make grinding cleaner and easier.) Grind the meat in a food processor or bench top grinder, following manufacturer's instructions. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the ground beef until ready to use.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, poblano and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions turn translucent. Add the cumin, oregano and ancho powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. When cool, add the ground beef, the chorizo, the milk-soaked panko, and the egg, black beans and corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix until just combined (don't overwork the meat). Transfer the meatloaf mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into a free-form loaf. Bake until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Meanwhile, make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the cilantro, parsley, pepitas, cumin, garlic and some salt and pepper. Pulse to a coarse paste; then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while pulsing. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and fold in the cotija and Parmesan. Set aside.

  • When the meatloaf is done, remove it from the oven and immediately spread some of the pesto over the top. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

  • For the tortilla strips: Fill a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven with 2 inches of oil, and heat the oil to 350 degrees F over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the tortilla strips until golden and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt.

  • To serve: Cut the meatloaf into thick slices. Top with a dollop of cilantro pesto and some crispy tortilla strips. Serve.

My spicy polenta cakes make a fantastic partner for this meatloaf.


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