Before you scoff at the concept of individual meatloaves, consider the facts:
- The cooking time is about forty minutes shorter than roasting a traditional loaf, making these an ideal main dish for a quick weeknight dinner.
- Or a Sunday dinner, when you’re up to your ears doing life, but still want to sit down together, civilized-like, at least once on the weekend.
- More surface area for the tennis ball-sized meatloaves means more delicious crust to enjoy and more room for the glaze to drip down and caramelize on the pan.
- There’s also no awkward sawing of a loaf made from meat; the single serving meatloaves spoon up easily in tidy portions.
I served these Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves yesterday for a very simple Sunday dinner, with a smattering of roasted mushrooms to accompany them. A humble baked potato made up our super simple side dish, and a bowl of Stir-fried Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Bacon & Parmesan rounded out the meal. There were no complaints. Did I mention there was Dark Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake for dessert?
They would have also been brilliant with fluffy buttermilk mashed potatoes, or browned butter whipped sweet potatoes; I have a feeling we’re going to be trying out one of those combinations before too long.
This recipe originates for the stellar The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, of which I am beginning to delve into and discover just how wonderful it is. I made a few minor changes to the recipe – but who isn’t going to sub in maple syrup for honey when you’ve just tapped your trees and are reducing the syrup on the stove at the same time the recipe is coming together?
I also cut back on the onion by half, because I wanted Clara to fully enjoy the mini meatloaves and I wasn’t sure how strong the onion flavor would come through. Turns out I could have probably added the whole thing. A gentle saute of the vegetables subdues the onion and brings out the sweetness in both the onion and the carrots.
This recipe comes together quickly, thanks to the help of a food processor which does most of the chopping. Once all the ingredients are assembled, roll up your sleeves and get your hands in there, it’s the only way. Better yet? Let one of the kids do it.
All the children enjoyed the meatloaves; Clara in particular, who plowed through her own entire boule – and then ran her sticky fingers through her hair. Sigh.
|Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves||
- 4 teaspoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil, as per Deb’s original recipe)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey (I used maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 2 slices sandwich bread
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- Olive oil, for cooking
- 1 teaspoon table salt, plus more for vegetables
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, and simmer, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes until coconut oil is dissolved and glaze is satin smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Tear the bread into chunks and then blend it, in a food processor, into breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. You should have about 1 cup.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot to the food processor, and pulse it until they are finely chopped.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, coat the bottom with olive oil, and heat the oil for a minute; add the finely chopped vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the large bowl with breadcrumbs, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the ingredients together with a fork or your hands.
- With wet hands, form the mixture into twelve 3-inch meatballs; each will weigh about 4 ounces.
- Space meatballs so that they are not touching, in a baking dish. Drizzle or brush each meatball with a teaspoon or so of the tomato glaze you made earlier, and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a cooked meatball will register 160 to 165F)
- Serve with additional glaze if desired.
This week, Danny, Clara and I will head to Hockley Valley Resort for the much-anticipated Food Bloggers of Canada conference. We’ll meet up with nearly one hundred of the countries finest food bloggers, cookbook authors and food personalities. I’m speaking on a panel with Jan of Family Bites and Dan of Dan’s Good Side, so that should be a riot!
I’d like to say a special thanks to Canadian Beef, the official sponsor of the 2013 Food Bloggers of Canada conference. Canadian Beef is making it possible for me to attend FBC2013 and for that I am truly grateful! Check out their blog for recipe ideas, news, contests and interesting articles.
Psst. If you’re attending the conference, please come up and say hi to us!
How do you like to prepare beef?