Salmon dip in a crusty football-shaped bread bowl is a lot more fun and imaginative than little smokies or chips and salsa! It uses one of my easiest bread recipes, and the salmon dip is a snap to throw together. Find it here: Succulent Salmon Dip (in a crunchy football bowl!)
This beautiful glazed football really is a meatloaf; just not the kind you’re used to.
Instead of using beef, I combined ground ham and pork and held it together with ground oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, for a scrumptious, gluten-free entree.
You won’t be tossing this pigskin around – you’ll be dipping chunks into glaze or slapping a slice of it on a crusty piece of bread and chowing down!
The idea for this meatloaf came from an old Taste of Home recipe for Brown Sugar Glazed Ham Balls, which my family loves. I made a lot of changes, so it’s a loose adaption, but credit definitely has to go to them for the idea!
My first attempt was prettier. The football was baby-butt smooth and flawless. But after I took photos and we ate half of it, I realized I’d forgotten to add the cheese “laces”. I also decided that I wanted less filler. I am not a fan of frozen meatballs; they always seem spongy to me. My first meatloaf had excellent flavor, but was kind of spongy…reminiscent of (dare I use this word in my blog?) Spam. I wanted meaty!
So I cut the ground oats and egg in half, and we absolutely loved the second recipe. It had a little bit more flavor, and much better texture, though it wasn’t quite as pretty. Don’t get me wrong – the first meatloaf was very, very tasty – but if I have to choose, I’ll go with substance over beauty any day!
Here’s how smooth the first one was – just in case you LIKE a smoother texture, and/or want it to look perfect:
I ground a pork shoulder roast and a nice butt portion ham for my meatloaf. You don’t have to do this (see TIPS, below), but I wanted to play with my new grinder.
No grinder? Find ground pork at the grocery store, and grind the ham in a food processor.
Serve your meatloaf with dark rye bread or crusty French bread for hearty sandwiches, or just dip chunks of the meat in small bowls of the glaze. Delish!
I’ve been pouting all week because the Seattle Seahawks didn’t make it to the Superbowl, and in a fit of petulance I almost decided to hold out and wait to post this blog until next year – when they will certainly be going all the way. But I love you guys, and respect your right to root for an obviously inferior the team of your choice. I’ll be a good sport and post the recipe now.
If you don’t have a meat grinder, you should be able to buy ground pork (NOT sausage!) at the grocery store. You may even be able to coax a butcher into grinding a ham for you, but if you have a food processor, I recommend you do it yourself. A butcher is not going to take the time to cut all the tough skin off the ham, and you really don’t want that in your meat mixture.
When the football is cooked and the meat thermometer is removed, let your meatloaf sit for 10 minutes before adding the cheese, because meat juice will probably bubble out of the hole for a few minutes, so the cheese wouldn’t stick.
I use an old coffee grinder for grinding my oatmeal. A food processor or blender will work too. Grind it fairly fine, but not into flour!
If you plan to provide glaze for dipping or drizzling, you might want to increase the glaze recipe. You’ll have a good cup of glaze left over, but…it’s so good! (I like a little meat with my glaze.)
If your glaze gets too thick, reheat it gently on low. It will turn liquid again.
Use good brown sugar – pure cane. It can make the difference between smooth glaze and grainy glaze!
1½ pounds ground ham (Easy to do in a food processor!)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
½ cup grated onion (or you can chop VERY finely)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely ground quick oats (Grind in food processor, blender, or coffee/spice grinder.)
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon maple flavoring (like Mapleine) - OPTIONAL
Heat oven to 350 F.
Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients together well. (A stand mixer and dough hook is the easiest way to go.)
Press into a ball and place in a medium size casserole dish. With damp hands, mold into a football shape. Take your time and make it as smooth as possible. This meatloaf is very lean and won't shrink much, so what you see is what you will get!
Insert meat thermometer and place in oven. Bake for 40 minutes.
When the 40 minutes are almost up, make your glaze:
Combine all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir well.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add maple flavoring if desired.
Remove meat from oven. Brush generously with glaze.
Return to oven for 20 minutes.
Remove and glaze meat again.
Return to oven for 20 minutes, or until meat thermometer says 165.
Remove from oven. Brush lightly with glaze and place on serving platter.
Allow meatloaf to sit for 10 minutes, then place thin strips of mozzarella cheese on top to look like laces.