An American Classic
Meatloaf is classic American comfort food that is enjoying a revival. When I ask people whether they like meatloaf I get mixed reactions. Some people nod and smile, some scowl and make faces. So far, everyone has loved this modern version. It’s not your mother’s meatloaf.
Personal Chef Recipe
When I began to work 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 for their light texture. To top it off I use a barbecue glaze instead of ketchup.
When possible choose natural 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 products.
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 your 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