I know picnic meatloaf isn't the sexiest name, but really, I couldn't think of anything better...
Artisan Pate al la picnique???
Nah, too sissified...
Anyway, this is a yummy, easy to pack picnic food that you don't have to grill or reheat, it is delicious cold. You can make it with a combination of meats, but I do suggest lean meats, especially if you decide to use some sausage because of the fat content. Pictured below, I show one loaf of bread, but the meat recipe makes enough for two. You could halve the meat mixture, but it's way harder to find packages of 1/2 lb. of meats. Either make one loaf, and a small regular meatloaf, or get two loaves of bread!!!
This is such an easy thing to do, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it earlier.
When I was shopping for the bread, the bakery lady was asking if I was using the loaf for spinach dip, and when I told her what I was doing, she got so darn excited, wanting to try it herself. Give it a go, I think you will like it...
(Whoops, forgot to photograph the egg!)
Makes 2 large loaves, should feed 8 big eaters, or 16 small eaters
2 large round sourdough loaf, unsliced
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground pork sausage, hot or mild
1 cup Fresh bread crumbs (from the middle of the loaf)
1 Tbsp pesto
2 cups spinach (optional, but recommended!)
1 med onion
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper
Cut the top 1/3 off the bread, like this:
Then, scoop out the middle of the bread, leaving about 3/4"-1" of the bread around the edges and also on the bottom. Use the bread you remove to make some bread crumbs in your food processor.
Chop your spinach and your onion, I did it in a food processor, which makes it super easy, and makes the mixture fine enough to mix with the meat without big chunks.
Mix the meats, the bread crumbs, the egg and the spinach/onion mixture together. You can microwave a tablespoon of the mixture for 15-30 seconds to check the seasoning and adjust as needed. I found I did not have to add any salt or pepper because my sausage was so flavorful.
Sprinkle the bottom with cheese at the bottom of your bread, and fill the rest with the meatloaf mixture. Add more cheese on the top, and put the top of the bread back on.
Wrap the entire loaf in a couple layers of foil.
Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours on a tray. If you have an internal thermometer, it should be 160 inside. You can flip the loaf to cook on 'its top' to avoid the bottom from being too crisp half way through. Unwrap and bake another 10 minutes to crisp the outside and to evaporate any liquids that accumulate. Even if it looks a bit "soggy"... it will be fine... and delicious, I promise.
Serve at once, or let cool, re-wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to head out for your picnic. Keep well chilled until ready to eat. Serve with Dijon mustard
Let your imagination go with this one... you could change the flavors to suit your desires, here's more ideas:
-Ground beef, green chilies, taco seasoning, pepper jack cheese.
-Ground turkey, turkey sausage, sundried tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella
-Ground lamb, feta, kalamata olives, fresh basil