Turkey Meatloaf with Ketchup-Brown Sugar Glaze
Store-bought ground turkey is fine and pasty, and it produced a dense, mushy meatloaf when we simply swapped it into a traditional meatloaf recipe. We dropped the usual panade from our recipe since we found that it only exacerbated the mushiness. Instead, we stirred in quick oats, which added just the right amount of chew and helped open up the texture of the densely packed turkey. To help give the turkey’s thin juices richer flavor and fuller body, we added cornstarch to the mix along with grated Parmesan cheese and butter, and we used egg yolks instead of whole eggs. To avoid overwhelming the mild flavor of the meat with too many add-ins, we stirred in a modest amount of onion, as well as garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and Dijon mustard. To finish it off, we made a flavor-packed glaze and ensured that it stuck by applying a first coat to the meatloaf and letting it cook until the glaze was tacky. We then added a second coat of glaze, which stuck to this base coat in an even layer. To help the loaf cook evenly, we baked it on an aluminum foil–lined wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pinch baking soda
- 1/2 onion, chopped fine
- Salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons quick oats
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 pounds 85 or 93 percent lean ground turkey
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
Adapted from cooksillustrated.com
Do not use 99 percent lean ground turkey in this recipe; it will make a dry meatloaf. Three tablespoons of rolled oats, chopped fine, can be substituted for the quick oats; do not use steel-cut oats.
1. FOR THE MEATLOAF: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line wire rack with aluminum foil and set in rimmed baking sheet. Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over low heat. Stir baking soda into melted butter. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire and continue to cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute longer. Transfer onion mixture to large bowl and set aside. Combine oats, cornstarch, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in second bowl.
2. FOR THE GLAZE: Whisk all ingredients in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes; set aside.
3. Stir egg yolks and mustard into cooled onion mixture until well combined. Add turkey, Parmesan, parsley, and oat mixture; using your hands, mix until well combined. Transfer turkey mixture to center of prepared rack. Using your wet hands, shape into 9 by 5-inch loaf. Using pastry brush, spread half of glaze evenly over top and sides of meatloaf. Bake meatloaf for 40 minutes.
4. Brush remaining glaze onto top and sides of meatloaf and continue to bake until meatloaf registers 160 degrees, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Let meatloaf cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
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