I derive great satisfaction from standing in my kitchen with the drawers and cabinets open, so that I can admire all the beautiful, shiny new tools and gadgets and pretty bakeware. It's truly fun for me to imagine all the delicious food that could come into existence in our humble kitchen. I can see my little blue serving dish with potatoes au gratin in it! Or oven-roasted, rosemary potatoes! Or steamed broccoli florets in a creamy cheese sauce! Perhaps a mouth-watering soufflé in my new soufflé dish? Sometimes this is how I plan what I'm going to make next. One day, I found myself lovingly touching my nonstick loaf pan -yes, I really did do this, and thought, "Banana bread? No! (insert eureka moment here) Meat loaf!"
Meat loaf is so fun to make when you have a new knife set (thanks Ben & Martha, Merv & Linda!), cause there's lots of chopping and dicing and mincing to do, which can all be done fairly quickly with a good knife. I really need to share this recipe, because the end result was the most juicy, super flavourful, pure comfort food meat loaf that my husband and I had ever tasted. I need to start using our fancy camera, cause my little Nikon Coolpix doesn't take the best pictures, but you get the jist.
Meat Loaf Recipe:
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1 large carrot, minced or diced, up to you
1 celery stalk, minced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup flat leaf fresh parsley (or a bit less) chopped
1/2 cup of ketchup, plus more for the glaze (about 3 tbsp)
4 heaping tsp of dijon mustard
12oz of ground beef
12oz ground pork
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp kosher salt (so it's not too salty)
1 tsp of ground black pepper
2 tbsp of dark-brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Mix all your veggies and bread crumbs together in a large bowl. Next, add your eggs, meat, 1/2 cup of ketchup, and 2 tsp of dijon. Now get all up in there with your hands and knead (so fun!) until everything is nicely mixed. Not longer than a minute so it doesn't get rubbery later.
Now you're ready to pack it into your cute, non-stick loaf pan! But also prepare a baking sheet to go under your loaf pan in the oven, line it with foil for easy clean up later, cause your meat loaf WILL drip while cooking. Next, mix your remaining ketchup, dijon, and brown sugar in a small bowl until it's a nice, even sauce, and spread it over the top of your meat loaf with a pastry brush or even a teaspoon.
Place it in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. I highly recommend that you use a meat thermometer so that you don't poison yourself and loved ones inadvertenly. Insert it in the centre of your loaf after 50 minutes and it should read 160 degrees fahrenheit. If not, leave it in the oven for ten more minutes until it does.
It'll be ready to serve in 10 minutes! I served mine with a simple side of mashed potatoes. Yum!