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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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Turkey Meatloaf/Burger/Sausage

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  • Meathead
    • May 2014
    • 1461
    • Chicago area
    • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen

    Turkey Meatloaf/Burger/Sausage

    turkey meatloaf

    This decadent meatloaf (when was the last time you saw a turkey recipe called decadent, or a meatloaf recipe called decadent for that matter) is, basically, a killer oversized turkey sausage or if you prefer, turkey burger. So if you wish, it can be stuffed into a casing or formed into patties. And I’m here to tell you, I hate turkey burgers. But this is different. Really.

    Makes. 4 servings
    Takes. About 40 minutes to prep and chill, 60 to 70 minutes to cook
    Special tools. Small baking sheet

    1/4 cup dried cranberries
    ½ cup inexpensive ruby port
    1 pound ground turkey
    4 ounces pancetta
    4 ounces gouda cheese
    1/2 small onion
    4 cloves garlic
    1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
    1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons fresh sage (about 6 leaves)
    zest of 1 orange

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
    2 tablespoons real maple syrup

    About the sage. You can use 1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage if you can’t find fresh.

    1) Prep. Trim excess fat from the pancetta and chop it into about 1/4-inch or smaller squares. Chop the onion. Peel and mince or press the garlic. Beat the egg a little. Chop the sage into small bits. Cut the cheese cut into 1/4-inch or smaller cubes. Melt the butter and mix it into the panko. Soak the cranberries in the port for 20 minutes. Squeeze the cranberries and drink the port.

    2) Loaf. Combine the turkey, pancetta, cheese, onion, garlic, egg, 1/3 cup panko, sage, zest, salt and pepper in a bowl and blend with your hands or a spatula. Pinch off a sample, fry in a pan, and taste to check the seasoning. If it is OK, form into a log about 3 1/2 inches thick. Poke any exposed cheese cubes deep into the loaf, smoothing over the craters. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat, or aluminum foil. If you use foil, oil it well to keep the meat from sticking. Place the loaf into the pan. Brush the loaf with maple syrup and pat the panko mixture evenly onto the top.

    3) Fire Up. Light your smoker and get it up to 225°F or set up your grill in 2-zones, get the indirect side to 225°F, and get some smoke rolling.

    4) Cook. Place the pan with the loaf over indirect heat and roast until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. This will take about 1 hour and ten minutes, but let your thermometer, not your clock, be your guide.

    5) Serve. Slice and serve. Put the sauce on the side if you made it, not on top (the panko will drink it all up).
  • EdF
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 3229
    • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
    • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
      Karubeque C-60
      Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
      TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
      Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
      Thermapen Air
      ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
      Thermoworks Hi temp IR
      BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
      Various other stuff

    Sounds great!


    • FireMan
      Charter Member
      • Jul 2015
      • 7848
      • Bottom of Winnebago

      Your right, I don’t like turkey burgers or turkey sausage, buuuuuut, pancetta, Gouda cheese, a little port & all the other stuff makes it sound inviting. With smoke tossed in, it sounds worth tryin. 👍


      • Elton's BBQ
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 2462
        • Saltnes Norway
        • Genesis 320 Limited
          Weber One Touch 57cm
          Weber Smokey Mountain 47cm

        Looks darn good to me..


        • jgreen
          Charter Member
          • Oct 2014
          • 2722
          • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
          • Cookers:
            Broil King XL
            Broil King Smoke
            Weber Kettle 26
            Grilla Pellet smoker
            Capital 40 natural gas
            Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

            Maverick 733
            Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
            Thermo works DOT (or two)
            Fireboard (probably my favourite)
            Thermworks Smoke (or two)

            SnS (original, plus and XL)
            DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
            and, maybe some other toys as well

          Yum. I would not have said I like turkey burgers either, until I tried the thanksgiving turkey burger from the main site. Will definitely give this a try. Thanks.


          • klflowers
            Club Member
            • Sep 2015
            • 3483
            • Tennessee

            I really like the drink the port part.


            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              We are men of the same ilk!
          • Randy-Phx
            Club Member
            • Apr 2018
            • 539
            • Phoenix, AZ

            What does “squeeze the cranberries” mean or how is this done?


            • Meathead
              Meathead commented
              Editing a comment
              Ask your wife.

            • Meathead
              Meathead commented
              Editing a comment
              Umm, I gave you a smarty answer thinking it was a smarty question. But if you are serious, just pick them up with your hand and squeeze.

            • FireMan
              FireMan commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, just pop those little suckers.
          • Ron Mickel
            Former Member
            • Oct 2018
            • 1

            I was a chef in a sampling kitchen in Houston until I retired. I frequently substituted turkey in beef recipes and seldom did anyone notice. I would let customers know about the substitution and showed them the garbage can if they did not like the food. It was seldom used. In a top knotch recipe like this, it would be terrific, especially if it came with a shot of port.


            • McEDaddy
              Club Member
              • Jul 2017
              • 201

              What blend of lean/fat on the turkey? I’m partial to ground turkey breast bc I have bits of what feels like bone in the standard ground turkey.


              • Panzer61
                Panzer61 commented
                Editing a comment
                I would guess you would go abit to the fatty side on the turkey. You’re cooking on a sheet so the grease can drain away from the loaf.

              • Meathead
                Meathead commented
                Editing a comment
                Sorry I missed this question. there isn't a lot of fat in turkey meat, so when I can I lean to dark meat, but I have aded enough other stuff to make it moist.
            • Harry
              Charter Member
              • Jun 2015
              • 277
              • Wash DC & environs
              • Weber One-Touch Platinum (the discontinued 4-legged, dome hole in the middle model plus a Smokenator when smoking); ThermoWorks TW 3628 & Kintrex IRT 0421 for briskets & other long cooks; Taylor Weekend Warrior (for the lanyard, not the cooktemps) & several ThermoPens for all others. I fully embrace the Minion Method and use Kingsford classic briquettes & Cowboy hardwood charcoal exclusively. Dry woodchips, of course. Beer - Devils Backbone Vienna Lager; bourbon - ALL but Bonded is preferred.

              I mentioned this recipe to my wife who, for some reason, doesn't like to eat beef or pork two or three times a day - go figure. We will be trying it in the next month or so as she plans menus that far in advance. RE: substituting turkey for beef in some recipes; in college I loved the chili made in the mess hall. I was a senior before I found out it the meat in it was 80% turkey by weight with the other 20% being some combo of beef and pork. It didn't stop me from loving it.


              • SammyJ
                Club Member
                • Oct 2015
                • 74
                • Summerville
                • http://patio-q.comYoder YS640, Tappecue Touch. Blessed with a screened in covered patio to cook in!

                Had my hopes up, roommate does not eat pork or beef


                • jgreen
                  jgreen commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Need a new roommate
              • SMOG MAN
                Club Member
                • Jan 2016
                • 297
                • San Diego, California
                • Rec Tec 680
                  Weber Performer
                  Weber Rotisserie for kettle
                  Weber Summit
                  My old worn out Gasser for burgers

                I made this, I liked it. I did not dice the onions small enough and that affected my outcome, also I would maybe sautee them prior to adding to the mix next time. For me the cooking time was way off, I had to cook longer but the taste was awesome. I will try again.
                Last edited by SMOG MAN; January 8, 2019, 06:50 PM.


                • MeatMonster
                  Former Member
                  • Mar 2017
                  • 606
                  • Ellon, Aberdeenshire

                  You lost me at turkey burger.... But I took a look at the recipie..... I'm sold, will give it a try and post back here!


                  • Grill Master Dave
                    Club Member
                    • Jun 2018
                    • 37
                    • West Monroe,Louisiana

                    Dont like Turkey burgers but I gave it a try and gotta say Bravo Meathead.




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