MEATLOAF – AN AMERICAN CLASSIC

There are a few meals that just scream “American”. Among these are hot dogs, apple pie, and meatloaf! Everyone has their own favorite way to prepare it. Some use their grandmother’s recipe, some search for recipes online, others don’t follow a recipe and just dump things together. I’ve been known to do all those things but was never fully satisfied with any of the results. Most of the time it tasted like ground beef mixed with ketchup and baked. Other times it tasted like ground beef, ketchup, and clumps of bread. Those sound appetizing, don’t they? *insert sarcasm*

 

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This past weekend I needed to cook a main course that would serve several people. I had fresh, grass-fed beef, and fresh pork from a hog we recently processed. My first thought was meatballs but that would require rice, potatoes, or pasta, and I was short on time. I decided on meatloaf because I could prepare it the night before and bake it the next morning.

The vegetables in this keep the meatloaf moist and the spices are a perfect balance.
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This recipe is the perfect one for me. It’s an adaptation of Alton Brown’s meatloaf recipe. It’s moist, flavorful, and doesn’t taste like ketchup. There are a few steps to prepare it but it’s SO worth it!

INGREDIENTS
5 oz Seasoned Croutons
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 red onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon garlic (approximately 3 cloves)
1 medium green pepper, cored and cut into chunks
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon cumin
dash of Worcestershire Sauce
dash of hot sauce
1 tablespoon honey

INSTRUCTIONS
1. To a food processor, add the croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until it looks like a fine powder. Place into a large bowl.
2. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, and green pepper to the processor. Process until everything is finely chopped but not mushy. Add this to the bowl along with the croutons.
3. To the processed ingredients, add the beef, pork, salt, and egg. With clean hands, mix all ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
4. Place the mixture into a large loaf pan and press lightly. Next, remove from the loaf pan and place on a broiler pan with a rack. (You can also omit this step and just form it into a loaf shape with your hands, but my OCD kicked in.)
5. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
6. While the meatloaf is baking, prepare the topping by combining the ketchup, cumin, Worcestershire Sauce, hot sauce, and honey in a small bowl.
7. Spread the topping over the meatloaf and spread evenly over the top and sides. Continue baking for an additional 25-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
8. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Just look at all this goodness!
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