An American Classic Updated
Classic American comfort food, meatloaf is enjoying a revival. When I ask people whether they like meatloaf I get mixed reactions. Some people nod and smile, obviously having it well prepared, but some scowl and make faces like they were being fed prison food.
Here is my modern version that everyone loves – barbecue glazed meatloaf. It’s not your mother’s meatloaf.
Barbecue Glazed Meatloaf
Working as a personal chef, I had to expand beyond what I cooked at home to what worked for my clients. Meatloaf was on the menu, but I had not made it for many years. I wanted an updated version of what my mom made. That’s how this recipe came to be. It’s a moist, healthy, modern meatloaf that works for dinner one night, then sandwiches the next day.
Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf
Mom’s version included the basics of ground beef, egg, ketchup, diced onion, seasonings and breadcrumbs. In my version I’ve split the meat between lean ground sirloin and ground turkey thigh and added finely diced Granny Smith apple with the onion for moisture and fiber. Sounds crazy, but it works great. You will never taste the apple.
For extra flavor, I’ve added Dijon mustard and horseradish along with the ketchup and used Japanese panko crumbs (gluten-free note below) for their light texture. To top it off I use a barbecue glaze instead of ketchup.
When possible, choose organic meats, organic eggs and apple, and choose ketchup that has no high fructose corn syrup. As condiments often have high sodium levels, read the labels and choose lower sodium (and sugar) brands.
When buying panko crumbs, read the labels and skip those made with partially hydrogenated oils. I have notes below for anyone needing gluten-free options.
Mix, Shape and Bake
Simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and pat into a loaf shape on a foil covered rimmed baking sheet. Bake until done, glazing with thinned barbecue sauce several times during baking to develop a gorgeous rich color and taste.
I use a homemade apple-barbecue glaze, my “secret sauce”. Use your favorite barbecue sauce, but read labels for high sugar content and bad ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors.
This meatloaf freezes well, so make two and freeze one for another dinner.
I’ve used Gluten-free panko crumbs from both Kinnikinnick Foods and Jeff Nathan Creations. Use an extra egg if the mix seems dry. I also added a little extra ketchup to bring up the moisture. You will have to get a feel for the moistness. Choose gluten-free condiments as well. You can also make your own regular gluten-free breadcrumbs. Find directions here.
Helpful Links to Complete Your Dinner
Baby green beans, you can do a simple version and skip the garnishes if desired
Baked sweet potato fries from Family Fresh Cooking