Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lamb Meat Loaf with Red Wine Glaze

Lamb Meat Loaf with Red Wine Glaze

Serves: 6
Lamb Meat Loaf with Red Wine Glaze

This recipe for lamb meat loaf offers a unique Middle Eastern twist and a tasty alternative to the standard ground beef meat loaf. Although a little beef and pork are included to balance the lamb flavor, the dominant protein and lamb flavor stands out alongside some fantastic complementary spices. It results in the most velvety and almost embarrassingly rich texture. This recipe is also one of the precious few that actually reheats well, tasting as perfect and rewarding as the day it was baked. The loaf is brushed with a delicious red wine glaze, so much better than the ketchup nonsense, which caramelizes as it bakes. The glaze also makes the meat loaf especially easy to pair with red wine. Like we need an excuse!

Children love meat loaf. It involves meat, and it is shaped like a loaf. These are two things that please them. It would be helpful if it was also covered in chocolate, or spontaneously sang a Glee song – but I have not managed that yet. Give this a try. It will easily serve a family of four with leftovers. Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients.  Many are in your pantry now and it all comes together rather quickly taking about 45 min of actual active time – 2 hours overall including cooking.  It's a great mid-week meal… really.
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
  • ½ C milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tb coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ tsp finely chopped sage
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 1 Tb kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ¾ C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ C plain dry bread crumbs
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter
  • 1 med white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • ½ lb. ground veal or beef
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1¼ C dry red wine
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp unsulfured molasses
  • Pinch ground allspice 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine bread pieces with milk and mash to a paste. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, chopped parsley, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne and stir until smooth. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and dry breadcrumbs and stir until it is thoroughly combined.
Shredded bread

In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Let cool, then transfer to the bowl. 
Sauteed onions
Onions and break....
Add the lamb, pork and beef and gently knead just until evenly combined. The recipe can be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerated overnight if desired.
Three meats.....lamb, pork and beef 
Brush a medium oval dish with vegetable oil. Transfer the meat loaf mixture to the dish and pat into a 4” x 12” loaf. Bake for about 50 minutes or until firm but not quite cooked thru.
Now shaped into a loaf

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the red wine with the sugar, chopped tomato, molasses and allspice and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until the glaze is thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.

Brush half the glaze over the meat loaf. Continue baking for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant read thermometer in the center registers 150 degrees F, brush once more with the remaining glaze during baking. Let the meat loaf rest for 15 minutes, then thickly slice and serve.
Mmmmm....with the glaze!
The meat loaf pairs well with many side dishes: potatoes, quinoa, lentils and/or most any vegetable. In this case, I served with Roasted Cauliflower & Shallots with Rainbow Chard and Dukkah. I will post this luscious side dish in the near future. Watch for it.  Meanwhile, enjoy the lamb meat loaf with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Bordeaux, a Syrah or a wonderful fruity Zinfandel.

Bon Appetit!



  1. I made this meatloaf last night, and it was amazing! The tomatoes were so sweet, and the flavor of the meat was delicious. I'm not a fan of lamb, so I used buffalo meat instead. My boyfriend liked it so much that he had 3 helpings! I rarely see him even go for seconds on anything. I will be making this again, especially since it was so easy to make!

  2. Thanks Cheryl! I am so very glad you and your boyfriend liked it. Buffalo meat is a great idea - and so healthy as well.