This meal, Creole Meat Loaves with Trinity Gravy, is so fabulous it will convert any Rachel Ray skeptic into a believer. And, if perhaps you're already a Rachel Ray fan, then you simply have to try this one. My husband, who is a tough critic, said "This is one of your bests yet."
Of course it helps that both my husband and I love meat loaf. In addition, we love spicy food, so this spicy flavorful Trinity Gravy was right up our alley. What's different about these meat loaves is that they are made completely from ground pork and oh...are they ever juicy and delicious! And that Trinity Gravy......OH MY! Rachel's Trinity Gravy is pure genius. I could literally eat it on just about everything. The gravy is started by making a roux, then adding onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper. Once the veggies are softened a little tomato paste is added, along with a little flour to thicken the mixture. Then here comes the magic ingredient for the gravy: hot sauce, and quite a bit of it!! A totally swoon worthy and stunning meal.
Creole Meat Loaves with Trinity Gravy
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Look + Cook
Serves 4, very generously
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I used russet potatoes)
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for drizzling
1 large red or yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used more like 6 or 8)
2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (I didn't have any so I left them out)
1/4 cup grainy mustard
1/2 cup bread crumbs, a couple handfuls
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I subbed ketchup)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons hot sauce (I used almost 3 tablespoons)
4-5 scallions, sliced on the bias, for garnish
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (my addition)
Note: Rachel's recipe calls for sweet potatoes and I couldn't find any so I subbed regular baking potatoes.
For the Potatoes:
Cover the potatoes with water in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then season with alt and cook for 12-15 minutes until tender. When the potatoes are ready, drain and return them to the hot pot and mash with the buttermilk to the desire consistency.
For the Meat Loaves:
Preheat the oven to 375F. Heat the tablespoon of EVOO in a medium skillet over medium heat, add one quarter of the onions and half of the garlic to the skillet, and cook to soften, 5-6 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool. To the cooled onion mixture add the pork, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, mustard, bread crumbs, and egg. Mix to combine and for four 2-inch-thick loaves. Arrange on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and drizzle liberally with EVOO and Cajun seasoning (my add-in), then roast for 35-40 minutes until firm and golden.
For the Trinity Gravy:
To the same skillet add the butter and when it has melted, add the remaining onions and garlic, the celery, bell pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook to soften, 5-6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour (and Cajun seasoning if using) over the mixture and stir for another minute. Stir in the stock, then the hot sauce, and cook to thicken over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat to the lowest setting to keep the gravy warm.
Slice the meat loaves. Arrange the sliced loaves alongside the buttermilk potatoes and pour the trinity gravy over both. Garnish with the scallions and serve.
Notes/Results: This recipe totally rocks! I'm so happy that my friend Brenda chose this recipe as part of our Rachel Ray Look+Cook cook along. I wasn't really feeling in a meat loaf kind of mood the day I made this, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how fabulous the meal was. A definite repeat for sure. In fact, I'm already craving it again soon! Thanks Brenda for such a wonderful pick!!
I can't wait until my friend Brenda of Brenda's Canadian Kitchen gets a chance to make her Creole Meat Loves and will be sure to add the link to her post once it is up. For the month of June I'm going to go with Rachel's Summer Corn Fettuccine. So far I've made four recipes from Rachel's Look + Cook and each and every one of them has been wonderful. I'm really impressed with the book so far.