I have accumulated a small jam collection at home. Actually, that’s an understatement… I have become a jam jar hoarder! Every time I travel, I always take home some form of spreadable condiment, usually made from local fruits. Last time I went home to Newfoundland, I brought back four jars of unique berry jam! I don’t limit myself to sweet jams either; many different hot pepper jellies and chutneys can also be found in my pantry.
With so many condiments on hand, I have to get resourceful and find unique ways in which to use them. You can handle so much jam on toast before it becomes a bore. Jams and jellies have a place in savoury dishes too. In fact, fruit pairs very well with meat. Apples & peaches are great with pork. Cherries and oranges are excellent with duck. Gamey meats, like bison and elk, go perfectly with wild berries and figs. The little jar of fig jam I just “had to have” suddenly makes its way onto my dinner plate in my recipe for Bison Meatloaf with a Fig-Goat Cheese centre.
The fig jam I purchased from Jammin’ It has a great blend of rich, intense fig & fresh citrus. I mixed the jam with goat cheese to add richness and creaminess to the loaf, along with a hint of sweetness. I also added some lemon zest and thyme to amplify the citrus note. The loaf itself is still savoury but the “hidden” middle layer adds a surprising, slightly sweet twist to an otherwise plain meatloaf.
This dish is a truly local meal. Every ingredient can be found at Kingsland Market:
- Ground bison sold at the Hoven Farms booth
- Fig Jam made by Jammin’ It
- Goat cheese from Noble Meadows, sold at the Broxburn booth
- Lemons, shallots, garlic and herbs from The Big Tomato and Prairie Farms
- Fresh farm egg from Sylvan Star
I paired this local loaf with a local salad, featuring beautiful sunflower sprouts from Greens, Eggs and Ham and Broxburn cherry tomatoes. I kept it simple, opting to dress the salad with avocado oil and white balsamic vinegar and garnishing it with toasted sunflower seeds.
To round out the meal, you could add even more locally produced ingredients, like oven roasted potatoes & carrots from Lund’s or bread from Rustic Bakery. Delicious!
Bison Meatloaf with Fig & Goat Cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely diced (~ 1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lb lean ground bison
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 large egg, whisked
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 oz soft goat cheese (room temperature)
- 1 tbsp fig jam
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch of salt & pepper
Preheat over to 375F.
Heat olive oil in a small frying pan. Add shallots and garlic, then sauté until lightly browned (2-3 minutes).
Transfer to large mixing bowl, allow it to cool, then add rosemary, bison, egg, salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix with your hands until everything is combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients with a spatula.
To assemble: Line a normal loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overlap the sides of the pan. Push half of the bison mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan. Make sure you push it all the way to each corner of the pan. Spread goat cheese mixture evenly on the bottom layer, then top it with the remaining bison. Push the meatloaf into the pan using a piece of parchment paper (this helps to evenly distribute the meat in the pan).
Place a piece of tin foil on top of the loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F. Remove from oven and allow the loaf to sit (in the pan) for 10 minutes. Carefully lift it out of the pan, transfer to cutting board and slice into 4 portions. Serve with a small dollop (1-2 tsp) of fig jam on the side for a touch of sweetness.
My name is Heather Johansen. I used to be a lazy, overweight, TV-dinner-eater with no idea how to prepare healthy, great tasting foods. Tired of the microwave monotony, I took a cooking class and started to experiment in the kitchen (and exercising!). By learning how to cook for myself, I lost weight and kept it off but have also discovered a passion for turning ordinary ingredients into healthy & delicious fare.
I love finding new-to-me ingredients and experiencing their exciting flavours. Kingsland Farmer’s Market is an awesome place to seek out interesting food finds. Not only do they carry a vast amount of uncommon foods but so many of them are locally grown or produced. The options are endless and change with the seasons. Once you think beyond the usual farmer’s market finds, you’d be surprised how creative you can be!
My blog posts will focus on take an unfamiliar ingredient – a “Hidden Gem” found at Kingsland Market – and I’ll show you how to prepare it! Cooking can sometimes be intimidating, especially when you don’t know how to approach a food. I want you to embrace the challenge of creating a delicious, nourishing meal or snack from any ingredient. Join me in the excitement of trying something new!