I love red meat! I grew up on a farm as a child and we had cattle, chickens, pigs and a huge garden. When it came to food I was spoiled with the healthiest and freshest meats and vegetables you could get. Of course a lot of things are different now. I have no garden or livestock and so I must make do with what the grocery store has to offer. I had thawed a pound of organic, 80/20 ground beef a few days ago and used half of it as a base for some Bolognese, which turned out wonderfully, but wasn’t sure what to do with the remaining half pound. I went to my recipe books and the answer came like a lightning strike, MEATLOAF! Every kids worst nightmare, right? Not the way I make it.
Because I only had a half pound I scaled my recipe down by half. You will note the small nature of the loaf when you see it in the pan. It is perfect for two people at this size and I still have a little sliver left over for my lunch today.
Here is what you will need.
- 1/2 pound ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 work wonderfully, if your meat is too lean your meatloaf with be dry)
- 1-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 Cup of bread crumbs (I use Panko)
- 1/8-1/4 large onion diced fine
- 1 carrot grated (I used about 5 baby carrots because that is what I had)
- 1/2 a large egg beaten
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (divided)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- chili powder (to taste)
- cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1.5 tsp distilled white vinegar
- 6 leaves fresh basil (you can use dried as well)
- 1/2 tsp oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 tbsp milk
Begin by grating your carrots into a bowl and add the chopped basil. This is a great way to sneak veggies into your kids diet. They won’t even know the carrots are in there unless you tell them and they add a little sweetness to the meat. You could also add celery or even a little spinach to this meal. Dice your onion and mince your garlic, while heating your oil, over medium/low heat in a sauté pan. You can also preheat the oven to 325 degrees at this time.
I like my onions to almost caramelize for my meatloaf so I use the medium/low heat and then throw my garlic in with my onions. If you want to sauté your onions that is fine, but I would suggest not putting your garlic in until close to the end of the cooking time so that it doesn’t burn. While you are letting your onions caramelize you can mix up some glaze.
Mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, distilled white vinegar and 1/2 a tbsp of Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and set aside. I got this part of this recipe online a while back and can’t remember where so I apologize for not having the link. Again, always bookmark, ladies and gents.
Don’t forget to check on your onions and garlic and if they are cooked to your satisfaction remove them from heat to cool and then you can blend some more wet ingredients together.
In another bowl mix together milk, egg, the remaining Worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp of the glaze.
Now its time to blend all of your dry and wet ingredients into the meat so grab your large bowl with your carrots and basil add the cooled onion/garlic mixture, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder (the spices give this a little heat so add to your desired taste), the egg and milk mixture and meat and blend with your hands until just combined. The heat from your hand will start to affect the meat so don’t mix too long.
Once combined create a loaf in a 9”X5” loaf pan, if you don’t have a loaf pan you can use what is handy, but the loaf pan adds a bit of support to your sides. As you can see my little loaf doesn’t fill the pan, but will still hold together in the end. Press your loaf lightly into the pan.
Add the remaining glaze to the top of your loaf and spread evenly, then bake for at least an hour.
You want the internal temperature to reach 160 degrees.
As you can see there is quite a bit of excess fat on the bottom of the pan. If you are making a full loaf you can try to tilt your pan, carefully, while using a spatula or spoon to hold the meat in place to drain the grease from the pan. Because my little loaf didn’t even take up the full pan I simply sliced and moved the slices directly to a plate.
Your meatloaf is ready as soon as it has rested a few minutes. I served mine with a small Yukon gold baked potato for each of us and it was wonderful. A little sweet, a little spicy and the meat was tender and juicy. I hope you enjoy this recipe and please let me know if you have any questions or if you have any changes you made that you think I might enjoy. Thank you so much for reading!