This shepherd's pie-inspired meatloaf is stuffed with a mixture of carrots and peas. Then it's slathered with Parmesan potatoes, dotted with butter and baked in the oven until browned. Meanwhile, a quick Stilton cheese sauce simmers on the stove, waiting to be served alongside.
Why this recipe works:
- Bloomed gelatin is incorporated into the mixture, helping to keep the loaf moist and meaty.
- Flavorful ingredients, including Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese and tomato paste, banish blandness.
- Cheesy Parmesan potatoes top the meat. They are marked with a crosshatch pattern and dotted with butter so they bake up browned.
- An easy, potent Stilton cheese sauce ties everything together.
Note: The meatloaf can be assembled a day in advance. Just remove it from the refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking. The Stilton sauce can also be made ahead and refrigerated. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- For the Potatoes:
- 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeledand cut into chunks
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Meatloaf:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
- 1 rib celery, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 meadium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground veal
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon or prepared mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 21 Saltine crackers, finely crushed
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 3/4 cup frozen pea and carrots mixture, thawed, or the equivalent fresh and blanched
- For the Sauce:
- 4 ounces Stilton cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Potatoes: Cover potatoes with water in a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Add 3 tablespoons butter, Parmesan, and milk. Season with salt and pepper and whip potatoes using a hand-held mixer until airy, but do not over-mix.
For the Meatloaf: Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk eggs and chicken stock in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the beef, pork, veal, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, tomato paste, paprika, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, saltines, and Parmesan cheese to bowl with cooled onion mixture. Add egg mixture and combine using hands. Do not over-mix.
Spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Pack half of the meat lightly and evenly into the loaf pan, creating a well lengthwise down the center and leaving about an inch not indented on either end. Fill well with peas and carrots. Top with remaining meat, pressing gently to fuse top and bottom halves. Evenly spread mashed potatoes on the top and make a crosshatch pattern using the tines of a fork. Cut remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and dot them on top of the potatoes. Transfer meatloaf to the oven to cook.
For the Cheese Sauce: While meatloaf cooks, combine cheese, cream, and pepper in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted and sauces has thickened, about 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
The meatloaf is done cooking when the potatoes are browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 135°F to 140°F, 55 to 65 minutes.Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately, passing Stilton sauce at table.
Hand-held mixer, large meatloaf tin