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My "All-American" Meatloaf Recipe

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My

All-American Meatloaf Recipe

Photo © John Mitzewich
This is my personal favorite meatloaf recipe. The pureed vegetables really add a lot of moisture and flavor, as does the classic glaze. Besides the ingredients, the key to a great meatloaf recipe is cooking the meat to the right temperature. This is why I alway recommend a thermometer, instead of just going by time which can really vary.

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded
  • 4 white mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preparation:

  1. Cut the carrot, celery, onion, red bell pepper, and white mushrooms into 1-inch pieces. Add to a food processor with the garlic, and pulse on and off until the vegetables are finely minced, but not quite a puree.

  2. In a sauté pan, on medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the vegetable mixture and sauté for about 5 minutes. The vegetables do not need to be completely cooked, as they are going to cook in the meatloaf, but we do want to give them a head start. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  4. In a large bowl add the ground chuck, the vegetables, and all the remaining ingredients except the breadcrumbs. Mix gently with your hands, for about 1 minute to start to incorporate the ingredients. Add the breadcrumbs and mix until everything is just combined, and then STOP. Do not over-mix! Remember, we still have to form the mixture into a loaf, which requires additional handling.

  5. Lightly grease the bottom of a shallow roasting pan with a few drops of olive oil. Wet your hands with cold water and form the meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape, about 6 inches wide, by about 3 to 4 inches high. Wet your hands again and smooth the surface so there are no cracks, which can cause a loss of moisture.

  6. Bake for 30 minutes. While it's baking combine the brown sugar, ketchup, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl for the glaze. After 30 minutes, remove the meatloaf from oven and evenly spread the glaze over the top with a spoon. If you like, you can paint a little of the glaze on the sides, but most of it should go on the top.

  7. Put back in the oven and continue baking until you reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. This should take another 35 to 45 minutes. Do not over cook. A good digital thermometer is the best tool for this procedure. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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