Meatloaf that’s pretty? Aren’t those things mutually exclusive?

This meatloaf yielded a pleasant surprise, especially for a meatloaf with nothing crumbled on top: it turned out so pretty!

Usually, meatloaf looks a little rough. Yes, you can cover it with cornflakes or ketchup or bourbon-maple-something-glaze or even bacon. Doesn’t make it pretty. However, poblanos hold their shape really well and when we cut into this meatloaf they were very delicately speckled throughout. Ta da!!

Using fresh poblanos in any way is not unheard of, but typically they are blistered or roasted because they do have a bit of a tougher skin than most peppers. However, on the fresher side, they have a nice bite to them without being too spicy. Adding them fresh to this loaf (instead of sautéed like the onions) helps them keep that bite and their shape, but they do cook enough to not be too tough to eat.

This recipe yields either one very large or two smaller meatloaves. I made two smaller ones, and they cooked through in exactly one hour. A large meatloaf may take a little longer.

Poblano Meatloaf
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground venison or hog or a mix of the two
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 poblano peppers, stemmed and seeded finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tomatillo sauce or ketchup for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sauté the onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  2. Combine the meat, eggs, garlic, peppers, spices and onions (once cooled) and mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Mold into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until the meatloaf is cooked all the way through. Garnish with tomatillos sauce or ketchup and serve warm.

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