Meatloaf and I don't always get along. I'd love to like meatloaf. I want to like meatloaf. But, after a childhood of bad meatloaves and gummy, greasy meat, I just can't make myself like it. I could probably go the rest of my life and never eat or make meatloaf, and I'd be okay with that. Unfortunately for me, Graham loves meatloaf. Sooooooooo.....Angie has to learn to like meatloaf.
I found this recipe in a sample issue of Cook's Country that I got...I really don't know when, actually. It was sitting in my stack of cooking magazines and I hadn't recalled seeing it before, but Graham probably saw it after checking the mail and chucked it into my stack of magazines. It was a bit of a thrill, really. Kind of like finding a birthday present in a pile of dirty socks.
Overall, this was just pretty good. I need to do some tweaking, mostly to the glaze. I wasn't totally blown away by the taste, but for once my meatloaf actually looked like the picture and I was able to cut it in thick, lovely slices for the first time ever. It's the little things, folks.
(Adapted from Cook's Country)
1 c. ketchup (or catsup)
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 T. cider vinegar
2 dashes hot sauce (or a 1/2 tsp. if you like it spicy)
2 tsp. vegetable or safflower oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 sleeve saltine crackers
1/3 c. milk
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb. ground pork
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/3 c. finely chopped parsley (fresh!)
Salt and pepper
For the glaze, whisk all the ingredients in a small pot until the sugar dissolves. Reserve 1/4 c. glaze and simmer the remaining glaze over medium heat until thick, approx. 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Cook onion until slightly caramelized and tender, 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrent and a little soft, about 1 minute. Pour mixture in a large bowl.
In a food processor, blend milk and saltines until smooth. Add beef and pork and pulse until combined (I did it in 8). Transfer to bowl with onion and garlic. Add eggs, egg yolk, Dijon, Worcestershire, thyme, parsley, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Mix by hand until well combined.
Prepare a broiler pan or a thin baking sheet with a light spritz of nonstick cooking spray. Heat broiler and keep pan approx 4 inches from the broiler element. Transfer meat mixture to pan and shape into a loaf. Broil about 5 minutes. Brush with some of the reserved glaze and broil for 2-3 more minutes.
Heat oven to 350 F. Transfer meatloaf to oven and brush with what's left of the reserved glaze. Bake until cooked through, 30-40 minutes. Let stand covered with foil for 10 minutes. Serve with cooked glaze.
- The glaze had a nice taste, not too sweet, not too hot. It DID have a very vinegar-y scent, though. Next time I'll definitely reduce the vinegar.
- Broiling the meatloaf lends a nice crust to the meal. I plan on using this element for all my future meatloaves.
- I definitely recommend broiling your meatloaf and baking it on a rack or pan with slats so the fat drips off. That makes for a (slightly) healthier meal and much less grease and fat to deal with.
- My milk/meat/saltine mixture was a little too runny to shape into a loaf. I actually had to add a few handfuls of dry breadcrumbs to the mixture and work it until it was managable. Next time I'll use 2 sleeves of saltines, or one sleeve and then a few handfuls of crackers until I get the consistency I need.
- I also won't blend the meat in the food processor next time. It was just a little too packed in there and I had to work the mixture a little more. Processing the meat would work better if I had a large food processor (I have a 7 cup, a 12 would probably work), but given the size of the appliance I've got it just doesn't work well.
- This was the last meal I made in our apartment. ::sniff::