Picadillo Meat Loaf - Improv Challenge

Here is a meatloaf with two surprise ingredients:  oatmeal and raisins!  Yes, oatmeal and raisins are not just for breakfast anymore.  The fact that oatmeal and raisins are the required ingredients for October's Improv Challenge, hosted by Frugal Antics, is merely a coincidence.  Totally.

Picadillo is a cuban-style version of sloppy joe, with extra spices, raisins and green olives tossed in.  To make it less sloppy and more loaf-like, binders were added.  This one uses the usual egg, plus oatmeal for the sake of the challenge.  A big thank you to all those gluten-free sites that suggest oats in place of bread crumbs.  By the way, if you are cooking for someone gluten-intolerant, be sure that your oatmeal is not contaminated with gluten cooties.  Even Quaker Oatmeal, which says on its label that it is 100% oats, contains trace amounts of gluten due to cross-contamination.

I prefer to mix ground veal and beef in my meatloaf as well as meatballs.  But if your local Try-n-Save is clean out of baby cow or you hate how veal calves are mistreated, you can instead mix your ground beef with ground turkey (such as I did here) or chicken and still have a tasty dinner.

Speaking of preference, chili sauce is not over-the-top hot, but still has a slight bite to it.  So if you are the kind who thinks an egg cream is too spicy, omit the chili sauce of either persuasion.

Yield: 8 servings

cooking spray
3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 pound ground veal, chicken or turkey
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup ketchup, divided
1 green bell pepper (size depending upon how much you like green pepper), seeded and finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped garlic (bottled okay)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (2 oz.) jar green olives stuffed with pimientos, drained and chopped
1/3 cup dark raisins
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbl. chili garlic sauce or 2 Tbl. chili sauce

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 12" shallow baking pan or dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Before the combining.

Wet your hands with cool water, then use said hands to combine oatmeal with 1/3 cup of the ketchup and the other remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and form into a loaf shape with a height of about 3 inches.

Boring straight line.

Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup ketchup down the center top of the meatloaf.  If desired, use the back of a spoon to spread ketchup around a bit; it will probably look prettier than just a boring straight line.

The raisins seem to have risen to the top.

Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in center of meatloaf registers 165 degrees. 

Let stand at least 10 minutes to make slicing easier.  Serve with mashed potatoes and your favorite veggie.   Plus extra ketchup on the side if desired.

Disclaimer - because this recipe is part of an online cooking challenge group, the linked recipes below might not be kosher.  


Melody said…
That meatloaf looks to be quite delicious! I'm going to have to try it on my guys, I do believe...
What a great idea! Glad to have a "savory" partner in this challenge! :) I had never heard of picadillo before, but it sounds really yummy. Must try!
Serena Ball said…
I love picadillo! Great idea to make a loaf!
Serena Ball said…
I love picadillo! Great idea to make a loaf!
Anonymous said…
My fiancee loves to use oatmeal in meatloaf. The raisins would add a neat twist to the classic. Love that you thought of something savory to make!
DutchBakerGirl said…
Yum..I'll bet the picadillo gives this meatloaf a nice flavor. I've used oatmeal in meatloaf before, too. Nice way to use the Improv ingredients!
Kristen said…
Woo Hoo for an incredible Improv dish. You totally get the prize for thinking outside the box!!! What a fantastic combination of flavors for a meatloaf.