We (okay, I've) been working on getting us to eat less meat around here for the past year, so I usually don't make an entree that's all meat and when I do, I don't usually post it here. But, this recipe is such a hit at my house among all four of us that I couldn't not share it. I'm NOT a meatloaf fan, and even I like it. Luke will take fistfuls of meat and cram it in his mouth when I make this. And with the cauliflower on the side, this makes a delicious dinner. This is THE only meatloaf I'll make for quite a while.
Glazed Meat Loaf
Cook's Country, Feb 2009
1 c ketchup
1/4 c packed brown sugar I reduced to 2 T; couldn't tell a difference
2 1/2 T cider vinegar
1/2 t hot sauce I used 1/8 t cayenne pepper; I left it out the first time since our family doesn't like spicy food, but I definitely felt like this needed a little heat
2 t vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 c crushed saltine crackers (about 17) I used left over Chicken in Biskit crackers because I liked the seasoning on them
1/3 c whole milk I've used skim and 1%--couldnt' tell a difference
1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef grass-fed from Sprouts--yay!
1 pound ground pork
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk egg is used as a binder in meat loaf, so it doesn't really add flavor. We leave it out because of allergies, which just makes the meat loaf more crumbly.
2 t Dijon mustard
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t dried thyme
1/3 c finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1. Make glaze: whisk all ingredients in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Reserve 1/4 c glaze, then simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until sightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
2. Cook vegetables: line rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Don't skip this step--it saves LOTS on clean up time!
Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook onion until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to large bowl.
3. Process meat: Process saltines and milk in food processor until smooth. Add beef and pork and pulse until well combined, about ten 1-second pulses. Ok, the first time I did this, I totally overprocessed the meat, making a meat paste. Now, I mix the pork and beef together first, throw it in the processor for about 3 1-second pulses, and really mix everthing in the next step:
Transfer meat to cooled onion mixture. Add eggs and yolk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, parsley, 1 t salt I added 1/2 t because my crackers were so salty, and 3/4 t pepper to bowl. Mix with hands until combined. Was it Rachael Ray who said to work the meat loaf as little as possible or else it will get tough? Can't remember, but I'm sure someone said it.
4. Broil: Adjust oven racks to upper (about 4 inches away from broiler element) and middle positions and heat broiler. Transfer meat mixture to prepared baking sheet and shape into 9 inch by 5 inch loaf. I think this is one of the reasons why I like this recipe so much. Cook's Country writes, "Problem: Greasy, Pale Loaf, Solution: Bake the Loaf Free-Form--Skip the loaf pan, Baking the laof on a rimmed baking sheet allows the fat and juices to drain and exposes more surface area for a better crust." Amen!
Broil on upper rack until well browned, about 5 minutes.
Brush 2 T uncooked glaze over top and sides of loaf and then return to oven and broil until glaze begins to brown, about 2 mintues.
5. Bake: Transfer meat loaf to middle rack and brush with remaining uncooked glaze.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until meat loaf registers 160 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes.
Transfer to carving board, tent with foil I haven't tented with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Slice and serve, passing cooked glaze at table.