The crowning touch? Traditional German Cumberland Sauce
Velvety smooth cream cheese stuffing enriches a classic meatloaf and makes it something special. After smoking, the final touch on this recipe is a glaze of classic Cumberland sauce made with red currant jam, port wine, mustard, ginger, and citrus. This spicy sweet sauce, slathered on during cooking, balances the richness of the meatloaf and the creaminess of the cheese. This is definitely not your mother’s meatloaf but something luxuriously better!
Our Pitmaster Club members post recipes in The Pitmaster Club forum, and occasionally we ask for permission to share the best recipes with the public. Here is an outstanding recipe from member Henrik adapted for publication by Steve Nelson.
- Prep. Gently mix the ground beef and salt in a bowl. Split the loaf into two halves. Form one half into a rectangular, boat-like shape, making an indent about 1/2 inch deep in the center with 1/2 inch edging around the border. Fill the indent with the cream cheese, spreading it evenly and flush with the top of the edges. Form the other half of the loaf into a similar rectangular shape as the bottom half. Place the top portion over the cheese filled bottom and seal the edges carefully all around. Make sure you achieve a tight seal to keep the cheese from leaking out during cooking.
- Season the loaf all over with the pork rub. Place the loaf in a foil pan that is slightly larger than the loaf. This will ensure that the loaf gets maximum exposure to the smoke and heat to form a nice bark all around.
- Fire up. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking by placing 1/2 of a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquettes on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 140°C (280°F) on the indirect side. Alternatively, fire up a pellet smoker with your favorite cooking pellets to the same cooking temperature.
- Smoke. Put the pan of meatloaf in the grill or smoker away from the heat, replace the cover, and smoke until the loaf takes on a good amount of smoke and reaches an internal temperature between 55 and 58°C (131 and 135°F), about 40 minutes. At that point, open the vents and allow the grill or smoker to get roaring hot.
- Glaze. With the smoker good and hot, brush a liberal layer of the Cumberland sauce all over the loaf. Close the lid and allow the sauce to caramelize and set for approximately 5 minutes. Lift the lid and apply a second layer of sauce. Close the lid and let it set for an additional 5 minutes. The loaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 65°C (150°F). Try not to let that finishing temperature go any higher to avoid a dry meatloaf. Use a spatula to transfer the meatloaf to a cutting board and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
- Serve. Slice and serve with the remaining Cumberland sauce. Steamed broccoli makes a great companion to this meatloaf.