This is another one I pulled from the recipe box to share with you guys. This one is from Cook’s Illustrated, so even though the preperation might seem like a bit more work than most other meatloaf recipes, it’s well worth the effort. Meatloaf was always the one thing my mom allowed my dad to cook growing up. It was always moist and flavorful – probably due to the fact that he was sneaking ground venison into the mix unbeknownst to me and my mom. We always had a heart-shaped meatloaf on Valentine’s Day in our house, and it’s a tradition I’m proud to carry on with our little family.
Don’t be put off by the addition of powdered gelatin. The first time I saw this, I was leery too. But, trust me on this one! The gelatin mimics enzymes (proteins maybe? – I’m no AB!) found in veal, retaining moisture throughout cooking. Leading to the moistest most tender meatloaf you’ve ever enjoyed. The glaze is a cut-above the standard ketchup dousing too. Apple cider vinegar is added to ketchup for some tang, brown sugar for a bit of sweetness, and ground coriander for a bright burst of freshness.
If you’re one of those people who swears they don’t like meatloaf – try this recipe. You may just find yourself making a hear-shaped loaf for Valentine’s Day this year too!
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated on small holes of box grater (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion , chopped fine
1 rib celery , chopped fine
1 large clove garlic , minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (powdered)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup crushed saltines
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cheese on plate and place in freezer until ready to use. Prepare baking sheet–cover a broiler pan or a cookie cooling rack with two layers of foil and punch holes in it so fat can drain. Then put pan or rack in another pan to catch drips and prevent your oven from smoking you out of the house.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown. Add garlic, and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Carfefully stir in the tomato juice, and let thicken and reduce a bit – about 1 minute longer. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside to cool.
Whisk broth and eggs in large bowl until combined. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, mustard, saltines, parsley, salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Crumble frozen cheese into coarse powder and sprinkle over mixture. Add ground meat; mix gently with hands until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Transfer meat to foil rectangle and shape into 10 by 6-inch oval about 2 inches high. Bake 55 to 65 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and turn on broiler.
While meat loaf cooks, combine ingredients for glaze in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Spread half of glaze evenly over cooked meat loaf with rubber spatula; place under broiler and cook until glaze bubbles and begins to brown at edges, about 5 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and spread evenly with remaining glaze; place back under broiler and cook until glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Let meat loaf cool about 20 minutes before slicing.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated, January 2006