I wish I could take credit for thinking this recipe up but unfortunately, I did not. The recipe for the meatloaf came from a co-worker of mine who I will refer to as "Betty Crocker". This woman cooks everything from scratch and executes it perfectly. I envy her. Then, the topping is actually a Bobby Flay concoction that a friend turned me on to. Put these two together and it makes magic.
That's the oh so yummy looking cross section of the meatloaf. Let me just say how this recipe may ruin a pan but it's so worth it.
Orzo and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
makes 6-8 servings
2 lbs. of chopped meat
12 slices American cheese
1 1/2 cups of ketchup
1/2 cup of milk
2 tbsp. worcestershire
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cups of orzo (you may have some left over)
1 box of stove stop stuffing (I used chicken flavor)
1. Prepare stuffing according to box and let it cool completely
2. Boil orzo until its al dente, let it cool and dry
3. Mix milk, 1/2 c. of the ketchup, stuffing, and Worcestershire into the chopped meat. If you prefer a firmer meatloaf I would scale back on the liquids a little bit.
4. Take half of the meat and form the bottom half of the loaf. Hollow out the middle to make space for the filling. Make the side walls as thin as possible to ensure all slices will get a good amount of filling (I wish I had taken a picture of this step but I didn't- FAIL).
5. Cover the hollowed out middle of the loaf with 6 slices of cheese. Fill the loaf to the top with as much orzo as possible and cover with 6 more slices of cheese.
6. Use the other half of the meat to form the top of the loaf (I did it in sections). Make sure it's sealed well with the walls of the bottom half.
7. Wisk balsamic vinegar with remaining cup of ketchup. Add vinegar slowly until you get a nice burgundy colored sauce or to taste. I'm not quite sure of how much I actually used since I didn't measure (another FAIL)
8. Put into a preheated 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. It should be nice and brown on the top when done.