Pastel de Carne Navideño, or Christmas Meatloaf, has become popular to prepare in recent years. This is not a typical or traditional dish, such as tamales, mole or pozole that you would find in Mexico during the holidays. It is one of those recipes that has been adapted in various ways depending on difference in region or taste. Adding the hard-boiled eggs in the center makes for a great presentation and adds that special touch to this recipe. If hard-boiled eggs are not your favorite, you could stuff the meatloaf with spinach, ham, cheese or roasted asparagus spears. The vegetables I added could be added raw, but I love the flavor a lot more once they have been sauteed. One of my favorite things about any meatloaf is the tangy glaze on top. The glaze can be as simple as ketchup with salt and pepper or your favorite tomato-based salsa. And if you think this meatloaf is good warm, wait until you try it cold and sliced thin on a sandwich.
Yields 8 servings
6 large eggs
6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
1 small white or red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup poblano pepper, diced
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
6 queen size green olives with pimento, sliced thin
2 pounds ground beef 80/20
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Maggi Sauce or Worcestershire (Maggi sauce is like a browning sauce that adds great flavor to any dish)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
Tips~ If you are not that sure you added enough seasoning to your meatloaf, break off a small piece and cook it until done. Adjust season to taste.
Tips~ For a variation, you could add some roasted asparagus spears and cheese on either side of the cooked eggs. After the meatloaf bakes for an hour, I used a baster to remove most of the excess grease the was released during cooking. Take the baster once again and remove the excess before transferring the meatloaf to a serving platter.
For the Sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Maggi sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Bring 4 eggs to a boil for 10 minutes, reserving the other 2 eggs. After 10 minutes, remove pot from heat and let cool in the pot with water.
2. In a large skillet, cook the diced bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain onto a plate lined with paper towels, set aside. In that same skillet with bacon drippings, heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, poblano pepper, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, carrots and celery. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, set aside. Crack and peel the 4 hard-boiled eggs and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, add the beef. Season with 1 teaspoon salt,1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon crushed oregano and 2 tablespoons of Maggi or Worcestershire sauce. Add in the cooled vegetables, bacon, olives and cilantro. Gently fold in until combined. Mix in the reserved 2 eggs, breadcrumbs and milk until well incorporated.
5. Take half of the mixture and form a loaf in the bottom of lined pan. Make a well going down the center and add the hard-boiled eggs down the center. Take the remaining beef and cover the eggs and form the meatloaf, pressing down gently. Cover tightly with foil paper and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze and cover the top of meatloaf. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until internal temperature reads 160ºF. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite rice and vegetables.
Tips~ If you have leftover meatloaf, before storing in the refrigerator, poke in a couple of toothpicks on top and cover loosely with plastic wrap. This will prevent the sauce from being disturbed until you reheat.