10 Things to do with ‘Puerto-Rican’ Meatloaf and a giveaway

This last week has been busy. Getting ready to go on holiday, working till the last minute and not being able to do my regular blog-hopping and reading!!!!! Forgive me. You’ve all been patient and kind to keep coming back.

IMG_8198So….this giveaway is for you! A choice from 2 books which I have and love: One of them is all Nigerian recipes and the other is a wider collection of African recipes. You choose when you win and I’ll ship anywhere……! {Forgive the image quality, these are saved from amazon!}

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We’ll return to this discussion in a moment, after I tell you 10 things you can do with Meatloaf!

IMG_8191This is our very last stop on Culinary Tour 2010, hosted by Joan of Foodalogue, and the start of my holiday in Barbados. Boy have I had a GREAT time with Joan, seeing, learning, sometimes with watery eyes……struck by how food is ever constant, a unifying force. Come sorrow, come sickness, come pain, it is there to sustain, to comfort and to nourish. We’ve enjoyed Platanos fritos tortillas in El Salvador, drank Horchata aka rice milk in Nicaragua. We’ve also had Empanadas in Argentina.

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Acaraje took us to Brazil and we enjoyed a delicious Pan de Banano in Colombia. Jamaica saw us ‘Jerk’ing and we had some Fried Goatmeat (Tasot Cabrit) in Haiti.

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Out of season but with great flavours, we enjoyed Cuban strawberries with Meringue ice cream and because I had some Abuelita and a Molinillo, I was inspired to catch up with the first stop I missed with some Macs and Hot chocolate.

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And finally we’re on to Puerto Rico and Meatloaf, which I’ve recently discovered. The Puerto-Rican version is called Albondigón. I’m sorry I can’t say much more than that!


When we first began the tour, I had a list of four things I wanted to accomplish…

  1. Improve my ‘handicap’ in Geography;
  2. Know a bit more about food culture and cuisine across South America; 
  3. Investigate similarities between Nigerian cuisine and South American (you’ll see why as we go along!); and
  4. Cook and eat….of course!!!!!!!!!

And yes, I accomplished every single one of them, to varying degrees, for which I”m glad. I am thankful to all of you who have read, encouraged, corrected and just visited. I appreciate it a LOT!

This recipe would fall under traditional Puerto-Rican cuisine, I say traditional, as defined by Joan.

She suggests that we adopt a ‘chef’s-choice’ approach to the tour. To quote, our dishes can be:Foodalogue

  • Traditional – recreate the country’s national dish or any other traditional dish.
  • Contemporary – use a traditional recipe and make it Nuevo Latino (contemporize it).
  • Algo Nuevo (something new) – create something totally ‘your own’ by using the flavors and techniques of the destination.
  • Published Chef – follow the recipe of a published chef/author specializing in that cuisine.

Uncle Google gave me various results when I searched for a typical recipe and so I junked that and decided to go for one I’ve made from food52, amending and adjusting here and there {adjustments in green}.

And since I promised you 10 things to do with Meatloaf, I’ll start now:

Meatloaf ideas

Using the meatloaf mixture, uncooked

1. Make meatballs. I did. I also baked them at the same time as I did the meatloaf. I added a bit of lemon zest and thyme and some panko!



2.Make patties and cook like burgers. That’s one I’ll be trying soon.


Now I’ll give you the recipe as found here, and tell you what else I’ve done with it because every batch of meatloaf I make goes further than I expected. And having made it thrice in recent weeks…….I’ve experimented a bit!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped {If you use red onions, be prepared for the rather unsavoury look if you store it!}
  • salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme or fresh lemon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup, plus more for glazing
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche (or whipped cream cheese)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 quails eggs, boiled


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has begun to soften and lightly caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until both the onion and garlic are soft and golden brown (be careful not to burn the garlic), about another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except for the eggs. Add a few good pinches of salt. Then, as Jonathan Reynolds recommends, “paw at it with two forks, combining thoroughly but not overmixing.” Gently stir in the eggs and the browned onions and garlic, mixing just until combined.

Gently shape the mixture into a rough football and nestle it into snugly into spread half of it in a loaf pan, patting it down so the top is fairly flat. Then place the boiled eggs and cover with the remaining half of the meat mixture, again, patting it down for a flat top.


Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes.  


Brush the top lightly with ketchup and return to the oven for 10 to 20 more minutes.


The meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches about 145 degrees. Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.What’s left over can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.


Using the cooked meatloaf

3. Eat it like that, with rice or potatoes and maybe a salad, as we always start out doing in our home!

4. Make a Bolognese, with passata and some meat, all crumbled up!

5. Make Cannelloni, like I did with some  Schiaffoni, ( large pasta tubes). I stuffed them with the cooked left over meat, and layered them in a dish.


Some grated cheese went over the top, followed by bechamel sauce, more cheese and it went into the oven.


I baked it on 150 deg C because I was braiding daughter #1’s hair in readiness for our holiday.


I left it to cook for a quarter of an hour and then turned the oven up to 220 deg C to let the crust form and brown. Needless to say, dinner was HEAVENLY! Everyone ate with gusto…and it didn’t involve much work at all. Which is why I’m sending this off to Presto Pasta Nights, created by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast and being hosted this week by Aqua from Served with Love ! I couldn’t wait to take a decent photo…..my apologies.


6. Use as a sandwich filling (no news here!)

I haven’t tried any of the following…..but I have researched them and know they will work

7. Make Cottage or Shephard’s  pie

8. Make Lasagne…..

9. Make Tourtiere: a meat pie originating from Quebec, usually made with ground pork and/or veal, or beef. It is a traditional part of the Christmas and/or Christmas Eve réveillon and New Year’s Eve meal in Quebec, but is also enjoyed and sold in grocery stores all year long. This kind of pie is known as pâté à la viande (literally, meat pie) in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.

10. Can you tell me, please?


Which brings me to the giveaway. Remember the one I mentioned earlier on…….of the books. Here are the Rules:

Leave 1 comment: If you can, tell me what #10 should be. If not, don’t bother, tell me your secret meatloaf ingredient or ti[!

For 2 comments: Tweet about it…and encourage others to do so please and leave another comment to let me know you’ve done this, that will count as a second entry.

For 3 comments, blog about it and let me know!

A winner will be selected, using the Random Number Generator at Random.org. I will  announce the winner on Sunday, 28th March 2010. Help spread the word, please.


Also a BIG thank you to Joan for hosting a fantastic culinary and learning tour. I appreciate it!

Take care, stay blessed and have a great couple of weeks. I was going to ‘scheduled’ a couple of posts, but there’s a bug in WP and I can’t find a quick fix…..especially since I still need to pack!

Joan suggests that we adopt a ‘chef’s-choice’ approach to the tour. To quote, our dishes can be:Foodalogue

  • Traditional – recreate the country’s national dish or any other traditional dish.
  • Contemporary – use a traditional recipe and make it Nuevo Latino (contemporize it).
  • Algo Nuevo (something new) – create something totally ‘your own’ by using the flavors and techniques of the destination.
  • Published Chef – follow the recipe of a published chef/author specializing in that cuisine.

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]10 Things to do with ‘Puerto-Rican’ Meatloaf and a giveaway – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. Thanks for the superb suggestions. As soon as I try them, I’ll let you know the verdict. I’m already preparing myself for ‘Another 10 things to do with Meatloaf’!

  2. You know, I’ve never eaten meatloaf. For years it was this weird thing I would read about in American books, and I still don’t entirely ‘get’ it, but yours looks good!

    My #10 would be to chunk it up a little and put it in gyros/kebabs with salad and onions and either a big dollop of hummus or tzatziki!

  3. Meatloaf is how I started cooking-I would experiment with all sorts of secret ingredients. Hot sauce is my ingredient all the time.

  4. Oh my, I have not had meat loaf in a while and you had my stomach growling. Hhmm, #10 – What about a nice hearty stew? Have a wonderful vacation and look forward to what inspirations you find upon your return.

  5. The eggs remind me of Filipino-style meatloaf, called embutido. With that in mind, how about using the uncooked meatloaf mixture to cover each hardboiled egg individually, then bread and deep-fry (or bake) for a twist on Scotch eggs? 😎

  6. Yum, I like your leftover ideas. My secret ingredient in meatloaf is crushed graham cracker crumbs. It adds some sweetness to the loaf.

    I tweeted also. Thanks for teh chance to win.

  7. Who knew meatloaf could be so versatile? I love all of these varieties of ways to use it. They are definitely getting me out of my meatloaf rut.

    And what an awesome giveaway! What do I think number ten should be? Meatloaf tacos. Yum. definite yum. Have fun on your trip!

  8. Oz, I hope you have a great holiday. I don’t know where you’re going… I’m off too, to the US to visit my mom and our grandkids. 4 generations, all told!

    I think No. 10 should be stuffing zucchini. I have a post coming up on that, but it’s too late for this.

    When we’re both back we’ll have to find a time to meet. Pinky promise!

    BON VOYAGE!! Or, as they say in Germany, Gute Fahrt!

  9. Yes! You are going to Barbados…. You are leaving behind the snowy slush for a tropical paradise. You are going to have an amazing time.

    I was reading your meatloaf post, thinking to myself, I never do all those creative things with meatloaf. Wow. I throw my messy mixture together, bake it till done, and serve up in slices with mashed potatoes. However, you my friend, have brought meatloaf to a new level.

    Now you know I am itching for one of those cookbooks. I have my eyes set on the African cookbook.

    btw, I have a cookbook giveaway too. 🙂

  10. That meatloaf sounds and looks wonderful; I like that you used 3 types of meats, I bet that adds tremendously to the flavor; the only thing I would leave out when I make it are the eggs, i am not a big fan of eggs in a meatloaf, but the rest looks perfect.

  11. Believe it or not, I’ve never made meatloaf, people don’t seem to talk about it here. I have done one million and one things with mince though… did you mention pancake filling?

    Have a wonderful holiday.

  12. My secret ingredient in my meatloaf is Pickapeppa Sauce (mixed in) and a combination of tomato sauce and Pickapeppa sauce slathered on top, baked and then served over mashed potatoes with a creole sauce over the top. I always form it in a heart-shaped baking dish. For the life of me I can’t remember why, but now it’s tradition. ~LeslieMichele

  13. Hun been too long since i’ve stopped by! Life is slightly back to normal- hope i don’t jinx myself! This looks lovely especially the fact that it is Puerto Rican making it so exotic! I would say also use it as a stuffing in veg, on pizza…with a chickpea and spinach casserole, maybe with fried eggs, puff pastry fillings…

  14. I love Joan’s tours. So fun to see what people do! Here is my choice for number 10. Get a fork, open the fridge and eat the left over meatloaf standing there with the refrigerator door left wide open until your (mom, wife, girlfriend boyfriend, dog… whomever) comes in and yells at you to shut the darn door! PS I plan on tweeting this so you can go ahead and count me twice… GREG

  15. It looks amazing and so easy! I think I would skip the hard boiled eggs, my daughter isnt fond of eggs. I think option 10 should be chill then slice in to thin slices, dredge and coat with panko and pan fry for breakfast!

  16. My not so secret ingredients in meatloaf is BBQ sauce (in lieu of ketchup)

    Have a nice trip to Barbados

  17. Gosh…it is so delicious! I love these recipes where you can do so many things with just one.
    Thanks for your entry!

  18. Oz – another very creative post for our tour. So…about #10, stuff a veggie like cabbage, pepper, zucchini.

    Thanks so much for all your contributions!

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