Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tomato Glazed Meatloaf

I think meatloaf is one of those things you either love, or you hate.  There really is no middle ground when it comes to the stuff.  Growing up I was never a fan of meatloaf.  I'm not quite sure what it was I didn't care for, but it just wasn't a food I ever craved.  Luckily, no one in my family named it their favorite so it's not something I had to suffer through on a regular basis.  As I've gotten older I've tried to have a broader outlook on food, and because of that I've pushed myself to try new things as well as things I didn't care for in the past.
I've tried meatloaf on several different occasions throughout the years, and it still wasn't one of those things that just wowed me.  Until a few years ago when I tried it yet again and actually enjoyed it.  The difference?  Well, several things.  One of the main differences, it had chunks of portobella mushrooms.  The other huge difference, it wasn't coated with baked on ketchup.  So, I guess my beef with meatloaf all these years was the topping.  I love ketchup, but apparently not slathered over meat and baked.  Who knew?

So, if you are like me and despise meatloaf because of the baked on ketchup, please don't turn away.  Stick around, because I have a meatloaf recipe you just have to try.  It's tomato glazed meatloaf.  Yes, it still has a tomato based sauce, but don't worry because it's not ketchup.

This meatloaf is from Smitten Kitchen, and she knows her stuff when it comes to food!  Instead of a loaf, she forms these into large meatballs, which I love.  She also mixed in a few vegetables to amp up that veggie power.  But the secret to this recipe, in my opinion, is the tomato glaze.  It's a combination of  tomato paste, cider vinegar, honey, worcestershire sauce, and dijon mustard.  The ingredients come together to form a perfect glace that is sweet with a slight tang from the vinegar.  A little is brushed on the meatballs before it's baked, then once it finishes baking it's then topped with a little more.  It's amazing people.
Then, if a delicious, juicy meatball with a sweet and tangy sauce isn't enough, place it on top of some incredibly delicious browned butter mashed potatoes.  You need this recipe in your life.  You'll love it, your family will love it, and you'll have a fail-proof meatloaf in your repertoire!

Tomato Glazed Meatloaf

For the tomato glaze-
4 Tsp vegetable oil
1/4 Cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tsp honey
2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 Tsp salt

For the meatballs-
2 Slices good quality sandwich bread, roughly torn
1 Medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp salt, plus more to taste if desired
Black pepper, to taste
2 Pounds ground beef
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tsp smoked paprika
1 Tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce


For the sauce-
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking continuously.  Once the mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes, continuing to whisk continuously.  Set aside.

For the meatballs-
Preheat oven to 350.

Place bread in the food processor and pulse into breadcrumbs.  Transfer breadcrumbs to a large bowl.  Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrot to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Once the oil is hot, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the vegetables, stirring often, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Pour the cooked vegetables into the breadcrumbs and stir to combine.  Add the meat, tomato paste, paprika, mustard and Worcestershire to the vegetable mixture and gently work the mixture until thoroughly combined.

Form the mixture into 12 3-inch meatballs, and place in a 9x13 baking dish, spaced evenly apart.  Brush each meatball with about 1 teaspoon of the tomato glaze.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are coked through and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatballs registers at 160 degrees.  

Remove and serve.  Top with additional glaze, if desired.

Recipe source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

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