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Not Your Mother's Meatloaf Burger with Bloody Mary Mayoli

Hi. My name is Kathy. I am Texas born and raised, and I am submitting a twist on a favorite childhood comfort food, meatloaf, updated and adapted for the grill. One thing I love about this burger is that it stays moist but is not greasy. The grilled vegetables add a wonderful smoky taste, and the "mayoli" is much better than the catsup sometimes slathered on meatloaf! This recipe is family-and-friend tested, and I submit it in hopes you'll like it as much as they did. Enjoy!

Ingredients 

1 medium onion, cut in wedges
1 large carrot, cut in half crosswise and then thinly sliced
1 rib celery, cut in thirds
1/2 large red bell peppr, cut in quarters
4 large cloves garlic, peeled, divided use
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided use
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, divided use
2 eggs
5 ounces tomato vegetable juice, divided use
1/3 cup half & half 2 pounds ground chuck (20 per cent fat)
2/3 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup mini pretzels, crushed
vegetable oil for brushing grill
6 ciabatta style buns, sliced in half crosswise

Instructions 

Heat a gas grill to medium high. Place the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a bowl. Toss with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. When the grill is ready, empty the vegetables from the bowl into a grill basket, shaking gently over bowl to remove excess oil. Grill over medium heat with lid open until slightly charred and soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put aside 2 garlic cloves for later use. Return the rest of the vegetables to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. In a large bowl, combine the salt, 1/2 teaspooon of the chili powder, eggs, 3 ounces of the V8 juice, and the half and half . When thoroughly mixed, add the ground chuck. Mix gently by hand, just to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Place the 2 reserved garlic cloves,the reserved 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, the reserved 2 ounces of tomato vegetable juice, and the mayonnaise in a food processor. Process until smooth. Put in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Remove the bowl of vegetables from the chill chest and place in a food processor. Pulse to chop finely (7-8 pulses should do it). Put the pretzels in a zipper bag and crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet. They should be the consistency of bread crumbs. Remove the meat from the chill chest. Add the chopped vegetables and the pretzels, and mix gently by hand just enough to combine. Shape the meat into a "loaf", divide in half, and then divide each half into thirds. Form patties to fit the ciabatta rolls. They should be just slightly larger than the rolls and about an inch thick. Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Place the patties directly over the heat, close the lid, and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Open lid. Place the rolls on the raised rack or at the edges of the grill to toast. Turn the patties (do not press them down), and cook with lid closed to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove bread from grill. To assemble, spread each bread half with the mayonnaise mixture. Add the meat hot from the grill.

Comments 

The vegetables can be grilled in a foil "boat" if a grill basket is not available, but you probably wouldn't get the same smoky taste and slight char that the grill basket makes possible. The vegetables can be chopped by hand if a food processor is not available.