I Love Meat Loaf Again!

26 Feb

Once every winter I get a hankering for meat loaf. I go in search of new recipes, hoping I’ll find one that will make me finally, and eternally, fall in love. I will give the new prospect a trial run . . . anticipating a perfect match. And then it disappoints. I barely choke it down or it’s too bland for the bother. Then, eventually, the rest of a family sized meat loaf gets tossed. An experience just about as disheartening as internet dating.

"I Love It Again" Mini Meat Loaf with baked potato and sauteed Bok Choy

“I Love It Again” Mini Meat Loaf with baked potato and sautéed Bok Choy

Hope springs eternal as they say . . . even in the world of cookery. I recall years ago being fascinated by my friend KR’s (of the cookies fame) inclusion of Gorgonzola cheese in her meat loaf. At the time, I had not yet developed a taste for the wide world of “fromage au bleu.” Thankfully, my taste buds have blossomed.

My dependable food magazines (Canadian Living and Chatelaine) have featured mini meatloaves over the years . . . an idea serviceable for the Savvy Single cook. I wouldn’t feel as terrible about throwing out a couple of dried-up hockey pucks if I failed — again. In my cupboard, is a rarely used, extra-large muffin tin — same size as a regular tin with just 6 large, deeper holes instead of the regular 12.

Extra Large Muffin tins used to bake Savvy-sized Meat Loaf.

Extra Large Muffin tins used to bake Savvy-sized Meat Loaf.

My internet search turned up a great-looking recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. Her recipe had the right proportions for a Savvy-Meatloaf-searching-Single. It also had Caramelized Sweet Onions as a major ingredient. What’s not to like about that? It also contained chunks of cheddar cheese and was glazed with BBQ sauce.

Here is my adaptation using Gorgonzola and a glaze suitable to the more elegant cheese taste profile. The entire meal took just over an hour to prepare.

Assemble meat loaf ingredients

Assemble meat loaf ingredients

GORGONZOLA-LACED/CARAMELIZED ONION MINI MEAT LOAF

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium                                      sweet Onion, peeled, cut in half and then each half in 1/4″ thick semi-circle slices
  • 1 Tbsp  (15 mL)                            butter
  • dash                                                sea or Kosher salt
  • 1 lb/250 g                                      extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                             Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp (1 -2.5 mL)             garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)                            BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup (65 mL)                           Panko bread crumbs (you could also try regular dry bread crumbs or small flaked oatmeal)
  •                                                          pepper to taste
  • 3 oz (90 g)                                     Gorgonzola cheese, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 4 Tbsp (67 g)                                 red pepper jelly
  • 2 dashes                                         Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:

1.       Place the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. when it melts, add the sliced onion and the dash of salt. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the slices are glossy and golden in colour. If, as time passes, the onion starts to burn turn down the burner heat.

Phase 1 of caramelizing sweet onions

Phase 1 of caramelizing sweet onions

After 10 minutes . . .

After 10 minutes . . .

After 20 minutes (and lowering the heat)

After 20 minutes (and lowering the heat)

2.      When onions have caramelized, remove skillet from heat and allow to cool. If your slices seem large, you may wish to slice them a bit smaller.

3.      Preheat oven to 425 F.

Mix # 1

Mix # 1

4.      Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the ground beef, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ Sauce (I used the dregs of a bottle of Bull’s Eye Smokehouse), Panko crumbs and pepper. Using hands, mix well.

Add cooled caramelized onions and cubed Gorgonzola cheese

Add cooled caramelized onions and cubed Gorgonzola cheese

5.      Spray a muffin tin with 6 extra large cups or 12 regular cups with oil (I used non-stick and it clean-up beautifully). You will use only 4 of the 6 mega-muffin cups or 8 of the 12 regular cups.

6.      When the caramelized onions have cooled, add to the ground beef mixture along with the cubed Gorgonzola. Mix well to combine.

7.      Divide the meat into four (or eight) equal portions. Press gently to spread the meat evenly in the cups.

Warm red pepper jelly. Add Worcestershire sauce.

Warm red pepper jelly. Add Worcestershire sauce.

Stir well to create glaze.

Stir well to create glaze.

8.      Place 4 tablespoons of red pepper jelly in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH for 30 – 40 seconds. You don’t want the jelly completely liquified, just thinner and spreadable. My jelly had a thick consistency. If yours doesn’t you may not need to heat it at all. Splash 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce into the jelly and stir to combine. Top each of 4 individual meat loaves with 1 Tablespoon of the red pepper glaze (or 1/2 Tbsp on each of 8 regular-sized cup meat loaves). Fill the empty cups 2/3 full of water.

After 30 minutes at 425 F

After 30 minutes at 425 F

9.      Place muffin tin on cookie sheet and set on centre rack of oven pre-heated to 425 F. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the internal temperature of the ground beef reaches 180 F degree. My mega-muffins took 30 minutes.

The meal loaves were moist, flavourful and so delicious I was tempted to eat two of them. This is definitely NOT a low-fat meal, so I refrained. When mini-loaves cool, wrap each in aluminum foil for future re-heat in the oven or toaster oven. I popped two of them in a zippered freezer bag for later enjoyment . . . like in a meat loaf submarine sandwich perhaps?

Savvy Single Mini Meat Loaf Supper

Savvy Single Mini Meat Loaf Supper

The rest of the meal consisted of baked potatoes (the oven was already on, wasn’t it?) and sautéed Shanghai Boy Choy, baby-sized of course!

Start baking Russet potatoes when caramelizing onions.

Start baking Russet potatoes when caramelizing onions.

Scrub 2 large Russet potatoes, prick them in several places with a fork and wrap them in aluminum foil. Pop them into a pre-heated 350 F oven while  caramelizing the onions (about 30 minutes). After increasing the oven temperature to 425 F for the meat loaf, turn the potatoes over and add them to the cookie sheet containing the muffin tin. They were baked all the way through, but just barely, when the meat loaf was finished (just over an hour from entering the oven).

Soften Shanghai Bok Choy wedges in a small amount of boiling water.

Soften Shanghai Bok Choy wedges in a small amount of boiling water.

When the meat goes in the oven, rinse and trim the root ends from 3 baby Shanghai Bok Choy. Slice each length-wise into 4 – 6 pieces. Rinse again. Place a small amount of water in a large skillet over Med-High heat. When water starts to boils, add the sliced, wet Bok Choy and allow them to soften in the water. Turn off heat and drain most of the water from the skillet.

Drain water and finish with a couple of splashed of soy sauce and a light saute.

Drain water and finish with a couple of splashed of soy sauce and a light saute.

Just before the meat is ready, set heat under Bok Choy to medium-high. Splash vegetables with Soya sauce to taste and saute lightly until wedges are tender crisp and the leafy tops have wilted.

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3 Responses to “I Love Meat Loaf Again!”

  1. Joyti February 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Oh, muffin meatloaf? That’s a GREAT idea. Nice way to control portion, and easy leftovers. Looks fantastic with bok choy!

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers February 26, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

      Thanks Joyti! All that, plus savvy for singles and unbelievabley tasty. Let me know what you think if you try this recipe!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Guest Post: “Bobotie” — South African Meatloaf | Savvy Single Suppers - April 14, 2013

    […] I fell back in love with meat loaf, it sparked a memory for reader, Debby, of a recipe she first tasted in South Africa. A retired […]

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