Meat Loaf

Hi everyone, I’m back!  Sorry for the down time last week…it’s not that I wasn’t cooking, I just wasn’t cooking anything I haven’t already told you about 🙂  But this weekend has been busy so I have a few posts coming up this week to make up for it!

First up is meat loaf, which is such a classic comfort food.  I already told you about my Turkey Meatloaf Mini-Bites, but sometimes you just need a basic beef meatloaf.  I found a recipe on Epicurious which is designed to use buffalo, so I thought it would be perfect for my lean grass-fed ground beef.  Like the turkey recipe, this one has the benefit of some added veggies to give it extra flavor, moisture, and texture.

As it turns out, I used 1 pound of beef but kept all of the other proportions the same (not on purpose; just wasn’t paying attention to the fact that the recipe called for 1 3/4 pound of meat – oops!).  I served it last night to hubby and another close friend, and, despite my “mistake”, I got rave reviews, including a “best meatloaf ever” declaration from hubby.  So I’ve posted my version below.  The extra veggies make this very juicy and flavorful, but also make it a little more crumbly than your standard meatloaf, which makes the individual loaves a good choice – not sure it would have held up to slicing.  But if you want something a little more sturdy, feel free to cut back on the rest of the ingredients or use more meat.  I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

 

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Meat Loaf
adapted from Epicurious

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 large onion
2 celery ribs, cut into chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs*
1 large egg
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with foil.

Place beef in a large mixing bowl.  Use a food processor to very finely chop onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and add to beef**.  Add the remaining ingredients and gently but thoroughly mix with your hands.

Score mixture into 4 equal sections and form individual meatloaves that are approximately 1-1.5 inches thick.  Place on prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.

Serves 4

*I learned a great tip for fresh breadcrumbs from my friend Kara at Itty Bitty Bistro…my family doesn’t like the ends of bread, so we’ve started throwing those in a separate bag in the freezer.  When I need some fresh breadcrumbs, I just take out a couple of slices, defrost in the microwave, tear into pieces and pulverize in the food processor.  So much healthier than most of the breadcrumbs you can buy!

**By making the individual loaves which only take 20 minutes to cook, even very finely chopped veggies stay pretty crunchy.  I liked it this way, but you could certainly sautee the veggies (and let cool slightly) before adding to the meat if you are so inclined.

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