The sign of a healthy organization is one that services the clients in front of it. Over time this means that it needs to reflect and transform or grow its historical practices. We realize that our cuisine is made for a different cultural makeup that is present in Lancaster today. While we have no interest in abandoning the cuisine of the past we also need to make sure that the foods we are able to offer are familiar to individuals from our present community. Sofrito is a product we’ve started keeping in our kitchen to play around with and utilize because of the size of the Hispanic community in Lancaster County.
If you haven’t yet read all about our journey to scratch cooking, we are thrilled to share with you our kitchen’s steady transition into producing each of our clients meals from scratch. Today, we served a home-made meatloaf (see provided recipe below) binding our ground beef with all of the traditional staples such as eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, diced onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and herb seasonings. Just the way you remember your mother making it. While this flavor profile was indeed present, we decided to take a different approach to attaining it.
So what is this sofrito stuff you guys are speaking off? those who are unfamiliar with may be wondering. Sofrito is a Latin American and Carribean staple a fresh and fragrant blend of onions, green bell peppers, garlic, and cilantro used to season a wide variety of stews, meat, rice dishes and more. Sofrito is to the Puerto Rican household what Grandma’s tomato sauce is to the Italian household. We were fortunate enough to have one of our volunteers donate her family’s home-made Puerto Rican sofrito which worked beautifully in our meatloaf mixture substituting the plain old chopped peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It may also be store bought in the GOYA brand, but we highly suggest checking out C-town Supermarket on East King St. in Lancaster for fresh pre-made sofrito!
Nate’s Meatloaf Recipe
Yield: 15 servings
- 5 lbs ground beef
- 4 large beaten eggs
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 cup fresh sofrito
- 2 Tbsp garlic and herbs seasoning
- 2 Tbsp 6 pepper blend seasoning
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- grease 10×15 baking pan and cover bottom with a sheet of parchment paper
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic and herb seasoning, 6-pepper blend seasoning, and onion powder.
- In a large bowl, break apart your ground beef. Add the beaten eggs, bread crumbs, sofrito, and half of your dry seasonings. and fold together using your hands until everything is incorporated and the meat is bound together.
- Transfer your ground beef mixture into the parchment lined baking pan. Using your hands, sculpt the beef mixture into a thick and even log.
- Sprinkle the remainder of dry seasonings evenly on top of the meatloaf.
- Bake in preheated oven for one hour until the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees using a kitchen thermometer.
Happy Cooking from Meals on Wheels of Lancaster!