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Braised Meatloaf in a Cherry-Kissed Sauce {#sponsor product review}

Last autumn I was introduced - through a fellow food blogger (thank you, Heather of girlichef!) - to Not Ketchup* when Erika agreed to sponsor an online blogging event. Erika had so much fun with us last year that she agreed to sponsor another event for me this year. So, you'll see more Not Ketchup posts when we launch our #TripleSBites event next Monday.

I will admit that my stomach used to turn at the word 'ketchup.' I envisioned the bright red goo squeezed out of foil packets from when my grandfather used to take us to his favorite fast food restaurant. Yuck. I avoided ketchup for decades. Then I became part of the mom-crowd and saw ketchup everywhere we ate. Not only did I see it, but I joined the ranks of ketchup-eaters along with my then-toddlers. Still we were careful about which brands we purchased, avoiding any with high fructose corn syrup. Eventually, when my boys were old enough, we made our own ketchup. Still, all the ketchups were tomato based.

I was tickled to learn that originally "ketchup" was an anglicization of ke-tchup, kôechiap or kê-tsiap, a pickled fish brine or sauce from the Asia.  For many years, "ketchup" referred to any type of spiced table sauce. Multiple varieties of ketchup were popular in Europe in the 19th century, including lemon, walnut, oyster, elderberry and even beer ketchup. According to NPR, the first printed ketchup recipe appeared in The Compleat Housewife [sic] and was a savory chutney made from anchovies, cloves, ginger and pepper. No tomato at all.

So, I was thrilled to learn about Erika's business, Not Ketchup. Her products are fruit-based sauces that are the polar opposite of that bright red goo of my childhood. I have tried her Smoky Date, using it in my Charred Bloody Mary with Smoky Sliders; you'll see her Spiced Fig mixed with cheese on top of an oven-roasted flank steak next week; and this recipe uses her Cherry Chipotle.

Braised Meatloaf in a Cherry-Kissed Sauce
by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Inspired by the Bison Meatloaf Casserole that Jane's Adventures in Dinner shared during our #SundaySupper Captivating Casseoles event a few weeks ago, I decided to make some meatloaves that were braised in a Dutch oven...I never thought to do that before. While there look to be a lot of steps, they're all pretty simple. The hardest part: pitting all those darn cherries.


Roasted Cherries-Fennel

  • 1 pound cherries, washed, dried, and pitted
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


  • 2 pounds organic, grass-fed beef
  • 1 C roasted cherries-fennel
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 3/4 t minced lemongrass
  • 1 mashed garlic clove
  • 3 T Not Ketchup's Cherry Chipotle
  • 1/4 C panko bread crumbs


  • 2 T butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 C roasted cherries-fennel
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 3/4 t minced lemongrass
  • 3 C fresh tomato sauce
  • 3/4 C red wine
  • 1/4 C Not Ketchup's Cherry Chipotle
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (I have dried ones, not sure if you can get them fresh)


Roasted Cherries-Fennel
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine cherries and fennel in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat with olive oil, then turn out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes - until the cherries are starting to shrivel and the fennel is softened. Let cool slightly.

In a Dutch oven, melt butter in a splash of olive oil. Add in onions and roasted cherries-fennel. Cook till the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Massage until all f the ingredients are well-combined. Form meat mixture into two equal shaped loaves and place on top of sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil again - this time with the meatloaves in there - then cover the Dutch oven and move it to the preheated oven.

Bake 45 minutes. Uncover, spoon sauce over the meatloaves, and return to the oven - uncovered this time - for another 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 3/4" thick pieces. Serve with the sauce spooned over the top.

The unique flavor of the Not Ketchup was enhanced by the roasted cherries and complimented by the garlic, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. This was a hit! Thanks, Erika, for being a fantastic sponsor and making such a fun product.

If you can’t find Not Ketchup locally, you can order directly from their website shop or from Amazon. I'm including affiliate links below. If you are uncomfortable using the links, feel free to go to amazon and search "Not Ketchup" on your own!

I received complimentary bottles of Spiced Fig and Smoky Date; I purchased Cherry Chipotle for myself. I think I need to get the 4-pack next time!

*DISCLOSURE: I received have complimentary bottles of Not Ketchup for my participation in  blogging events...and for the purposes of review.  I have received no additional compensation for this post and the opinions expressed here are my own and the recipe shared in the review of this product was not sponsored.


  1. Oh Camilla this looks just DELICIOUS! What a gourmet treat! I'll be trying this one very soon.


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