Meatloaf wasn’t always my “thang” growing up. But my grandma’s meatloaf is perfection. So, why not try my hand at this American classic, right? Meatloaf is one of those dishes you can’t go wrong with at the dinner table. It is classic and sophisticated, yet incredibly simple and delicious.
It feels so good to be back in the kitchen and creating again. I took a little break, and it was just what I needed to reboot. While on my little break, I made this meatloaf for some added comfort. My friends and family fell in love! It is moist and comforting, but also light and elegant. Now, there are a few tips that are important to follow when making the perfect meatloaf every time.
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT MEATLOAF:
- Flavor flavor flavor! Don’t be afraid to play around with different flavors. Meatloaf usually consists of three ingredients: ground meat, a binder and liquid. It’s great to play around with those ingredients especially if you are on a Whole30 or you follow a paleo lifestyle. In this case, we chose almond flour as a binding agent and we used beef broth as a liquid. If you aren’t trying to keep this recipe Whole30 or Paleo friendly, you can definitely experiment with wine or even different salad dressings or marinades to switch up the flavor.
- Use a fork to combine the ingredients. This is probably the most important step in the recipe. Toss the meat mixture with a fork using a stippling motion. This will ensure the mixture stays airated and light. Using a spoon or over mixing the mixture will only make the mixture very dense. You can also use your hands to combine the mixture, just don’t over mix!
- And last but not least, whether you are baking the meatloaf in a loaf pan or on a sheet pan, make sure you put a pan or sheet pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven. As you bake the meatloaf, the water bath will add moisture to the oven which will prevent the meatloaf from cracking.
THE BEST MEATLOAF
PALEO II WHOLE30
For added texture and flavor, I chose to incorporate leeks, shallots, and garlic in the meatloaf. Again, you can experiment with different vegetables and aromatics. But, be sure not to over do it. Meatloaf is not a complicated dish. It does not need many additions. Choose a few herbs, vegetables and aromatics that work well together. Don’t complicate things by adding too many ingredients.
A little twist on the classic meatloaf. Perfect comfort food for any night. Made with ground beef and pork and finished with ketchup and bacon bits.
1 shallot (diced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbsp. avocado oil
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tbsp. coconut aminos
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup organic ketchup (I like Primal Kitchen Foods ketchup if you are on a Whole30)
2 slices no sugar added bacon
2 scallions (diced)
To begin, preheat oven to 325˚F.
Now, clean the leek by slicing off the dark green part (trimming to the part where the color is paler). Then, cut off the end and slice it lengthwise. Run the leeks under cold water, separating the layers slightly to make sure you remove all the dirt. Then, chop leeks and add it to a skillet along with the shallot, garlic cloves, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Sauté the vegetables over medium heat until the leeks are tender (about 7-10 minutes). Add tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. Then, stir in beef broth and coconut aminos. Remove the vegetable mixture from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Now, add the vegetables to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef, pork, almond flour, and eggs. Use a fork to combine all the ingredients (making sure you do not overmix). Transfer the beef mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mold the mixture into a loaf and spread the ketchup on top. Transfer the meatloaf to the oven and bake for 1 hr and 10 minutes ( Place a baking sheet filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven to prevent cracking). Then turn the oven to broil and continue to bake for 5 mins to add some color to the meatloaf.
While the meatloaf bakes, dice 2 slices of uncooked bacon and crisp it up in a small skillet. Remove the bacon from the heat, discard half of the bacon fat, and stir in the scallions, cilantro or parsley.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven, remove any excess fat and top off the meatloaf with the bacon and herb mixture. Let the meatloaf rest for about 7 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables.