Cajun Meat Loaf

Cajun Meat Loaf

Seasoning Mix: 2 whole bay leaves, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

4 TB unsalted butter, 3/4 cup finely chopped onions, 1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped, 1/4 cup green onion finely chopped, 1/2 cup fine chopped celery, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 TB Tabasco sauce, 1 TB Worchestershire sauce, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 1/2 lb. ground beef sirloin, 1/2 lb ground pork, 2 eggs lightly beaten, 1 cup very fine bread crumbs

Note: This recipe has just the “right” amount of heat and will not overwhelm more sensitive eaters.

Combine the Seasoning Mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, green onions, garlic, Tabasco, Worchestershire and seasoning mix. Saute until mixture starts sticking excessively, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom well. Stir in the milk and ketchup. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Place the ground beef and pork in an ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Add the eggs, the cooked vegetable mixture and the bread crumbs, remove the bay leaves. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined. In the center of the pan, shape the mixture into a loaf that is about 1 1/2 inches high, 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then raise heat to 400 and continue cooking until done, about 35 minutes longer. Serve immediately as is or with Very Hot Cajun Sauce for Beef. This recipe can be made with ground beef only, but using some pork gives the flavor more diversity.