Kicked up comfort foods are popping up on menus in better restaurants all over the place these days, which recently prompted us to start comparing notes on a few of our favourite kicked up meatloaf recipes. As you peruse this collection, you will see that there are a few different ways to elevate this humble comfort food. For starters, think about using one or more better quality meats, like bison, pork, lamb or flavoured sausage meat like Chorizo or hot Italian sausages.
Next, why not consider bold flavour additions – either to the meat itself – or as a glaze or treatment to the outside of your meatloaf. Everything from wrapping the whole deal up in bacon, to a maple or honey based glaze, or if you’re feeling especially decadent, shaved truffle will take your meatloaf to a whole new level. Finally, as much as I love classic meatloaf dunked in ketchup, more creative or deeply flavoured condiments are another place to raise the flavour quotient with this comfort classic.
1. Mozzarella-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf RECIPE
Wine Match: Rich & Silky Reds like Merlot or Grenache
2. Turkey Meatloaf w/ Fontina & Mushrooms RECIPE
Wine Match: Bright Refreshing Whites like Dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc
3. Chorizo Meatloaf w/ Chipotle & Lime Glaze RECIPE
Wine Match: Spicy Spanish Reds like Rioja or Monastrell
So, we’ve taken a look at a few ways to elevate a humble comfort classic – so all we need now are a few go-to “comfort wines” to round out the perfect cold weather meal at home. What makes a great comfort wine? For me, I favour supple and smooth wines with no hard edges, that offer plenty of ripe fruit flavours, silky tannins and just a bit of punchy spice or oak to bring it all together. For me whites like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are the perfect refreshing counterpoint to saltier comfort foods. If you like whites like these, you might also enjoy more adventurous choices like Albarino and Verdejo from Spain, Vinho Verde from Portugal or Torrontes from Argentina.
When it comes to reds, I love the plush, generous and warming style of rustic Spanish reds like Monastrell or Garnacha – while Grenache based Cotes-du-Rhone reds are amongst the most food-versatile and consistently delicious red wines produced anywhere on the planet. If something a bit more richly fruity is your style, you can’t go wrong with Merlot from California or South America, or the ever-popular Malbec based reds of Argentina.