November 15, 2007

The Most Tender Meatloaf Ever

Meatloaf is one of those dishes I usually avoid. Reason being is that no matter what recipe I try, I usually end up with what can only be described as an overcooked, dry and flavorless giant hamburger patty. I came across this recipe on marthastewart.com that promised to deliver rich flavor and smooth texture. Not only was this dish very tasty, but it was extremely easy to make. Prep time took less than 15 minutes and I liked the fact that it contains pureed veggies, which helps us add more vitamins and nutrients to our diet. My perception on meatloaf has changed; I will definitely be adding this recipe to my list of favorites.

Meatloaf 101 with Mrs. Kostyra
Serves 8

Ingredients

4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 large egg
1 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium bowl, and add ground beef.

  2. Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine. Add to meat mixture, using hands to mix well. Add egg, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, salt, and pepper; use hands to combine thoroughly. Place in an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan.

  3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup ketchup, remaining teaspoon dry mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl; stir until smooth.

  4. Brush mixture over meatloaf; place in the oven with a baking pan set on the rack below to catch drippings. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees, about 90 minutes. If top gets too dark, cover with foil, and continue baking.

My Rating:
Excellent

Modifications:
I used a combination of ground beef and ground pork, about 2 1/4 pounds and 1 pound respectively. This yielded a little more mixture than anticipated so I ended up using two loaf pans. So as not to dry out the meat, I reduced cooking time to 60 minutes. This was the perfect amount of time; I suggest reducing the cooking time as indicated if you make two smaller loaves.

Tip:
Take the
leftovers and make a meatloaf sandwich. Slice the meatloaf a little thinner than normal, top with some shredded mozzarella, and pop in the microwave for about 90 seconds. Put it all between two slices of your favorite bread and you have a tasty lunch!

Updated 3/2/2008
Weight Watchers = 7 points

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