Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meatloaf


Meatloaf is one of those foods you tend to forget is amazingly delicious. I hadn't had meatloaf in years and this weekend, we were out and saw it served at a restaurant. It looked so amazing I had to go home and whip some up the next day. Normally, I make some variation of turkey/chicken meatloaf with quinoa and flaxseed and lots of healthy things. Not today. Today is about tasty comfort.

There are many secrets to amazing meatloaf, I definitely do not know them all. My basic rules are: 1) do not overmix the meat, just lightly combine all the ingredients; 2) bake at 375 max, higher temperatures dry out the meat; 3) do not use a loaf pan, free form meatloaf is crisper and cooks more evenly; and 4) use a variety of veggies and herbs to mix in, not just breadcrumbs. Some people swear by zucchini in their meatloaf, but I like to keep it basic. I do, however, insist on adding some grated parmesan and fresh parsley, which together compliment the meat and elevate the flavors. Also, if you have a meat thermometer, use it to get the cooking time just right.

So... are you hungry yet? Read more to get the full recipe!

Ingredients:
1.5lb ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1/4lb bacon, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp ketchup
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chili powder

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Saute garlic, onion, celery and carrot in olive oil on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until soft

3. Add bacon and continue to cook for another 5 minutes

4. Set bacon and vegetable mixture aside and allow to cool

5. In a mixing bowl, combine meat, breadcrumbs, egg, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and bacon veggie mixture

6. Mix until just combined - do not overmix!

7. On a cookie sheet, mold the mixture into a loaf-like shape, keeping it as evenly distributed as possible

8. In a bowl, whisk together ketchup, balsamic and chili powder

9. Spread the mixture on top of the loaf

10. Bake until cooked through, approx 20-30 minutes - or until your meat thermometer registers 160

11. Serve!

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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It means so much to me. Please let me know if you have questions about any of my recipes or if I forgot a step. Also, is there something you would like me to cook or a recipe to makeover? Let me know!

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