Not your Average Meatloaf
We feel like meatloaf has kind of a bad rap these days.
True, memories of childhood meatloaf may conjure a greasy slice of beef cooked to a hockey puck like consistency. But meatloaf actually has a lot going for it! When cooked correctly with the best whole food ingredients, it's a completely different dish.
And so, as with any classic recipe overdue for a comeback (like our upgraded Vegan Green Bean Casserole), we decided to work some magic in the test kitchen! Let's do this thang.
Keys to a Better Meatloaf Recipe
The first order of business is consistency. By cooking your meatloaf on a cooling rack inside a cookie sheet and covered with foil, you achieve that coveted crispy and evenly browned crust on the outside, with a tender and succulent center. Mischief managed.
Flavor is next. We used a mixture of rich ground beef and high fat content ground pork, as well as adding cooked onion. This provides additional moisture and complex flavors.
We finished this meatloaf with a delicious glaze made with our Portland Organic Ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. This recipe is also easily adaptable to a grain-free version.
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 stalks of celery, diced small
- 1 TB olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1lb ground pork
- 2 tsp Dijon
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup half and half
- 1/4 cup Portland Organic Ketchup
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- 1 tsp Portland Organic Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
- 2 tsp dried Marjoram
- 2 tsp dried Thyme Salt and Pepper
- ½ Cup Coconut Flour for a Grain free version or 1 Cup bread crumbs
- Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
For the glaze:
- 1 cup Portland Organic Ketchup
- 4 TB apple cider vinegar
- 2 TB Brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- To prepare your cookie sheet, cover the bottom with foil or parchment. Make sure you’re using one with raised sides. Layer a cooling rack over that, then a layer of foil or parchment on top of the cooling rack.
- In a sauté pan on medium heat, sauté the onion and celery in 1 TB of olive oil until transparent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute or so until aromatic. Set aside in a large bowl to cool. Once cool, add the the raw beef and pork to the same large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the Dijon, eggs, half and half, 1/4 cup of Portland Organic Ketchup, Tabasco, marjoram, thyme, and salt and pepper. Pour the liquid mixture over the meat and onions and kneed to combine, adding the flour or breadcrumbs half way through the mixing. Be careful not to overmix the meat as this will make it tough.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the glaze ingredients and heat for 1 minute to melt the sugar. Reserve half in a separate bowl so as not to cross contaminate. The reserved glaze is for serving at the table. It’s so delicious, believe us, you will want extra!
- Scrape the meat mixture onto the prepared sheet pan. Spread out the meat into a flat square to push out any air bubbles which would prevent an even cook. Then carefully form into a uniform loaf, taking care to make sure it’s the same thickness all the way across. This will ensure even baking as well.
- Poke small holes in the foil all the way around the meatloaf so as it cooks the juice will go down into the baking sheet, allowing the meatloaf to get brown and get crispy.
- Drizzle Glaze down the center of the meatloaf and spread out across the top for an even coating.
- Bake for about 1 hour, brushing more glaze halfway through. Bake to an internal temp of 160. Once the temperature is reached, turn off the oven and turn on the broiler to allow the glaze to get nice and bubbly. We actually love some darker blister spots on the glaze for an even more complex flavor. Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Add your fresh parsley on top as a garnish. Serve with your reserved glaze for those who want extra!
Note: this recipe makes great meatloaf sandwiches the next day. Enjoy with some mayo and Portland Organic Mustard on a few slices of bread! Yum!
It feels good to bring this traditional American comfort food recipe back to the table. We hope you enjoy it!
Recipe Credit: Molly Boudreaux