I have not always been a meatloaf fan. I remember it being a budget-friendly meal mom threw together using bread crumbs and ketchup to keep four little monsters fed. So, I was surprised to see it on so many Farm-to-Table menus offering “gourmet meatloaf” with a sticker price of $22 per plate. What’s up with that?
I know a little about meatloaf and I can tell you that it would be hard to come up with enough “gourmet” ingredients to pull off a $22 asking price. What, do you offer plum tomatoes vs. tomatoes? I always say if it is something you can make well at home don’t pay for it out. Here’s a gourmet meatloaf for only $2.75 per plate!
Clearly, my memories of meatloaf have been jaded by my childhood. Therefore, I wanted to revamp those memories by eliminating those ingredients that haunted me. Yep, that would be ketchup and breadcrumbs. This version is made with fresh ingredients: fresh tomatoes, fresh sourdough bread, and fresh herbs instead.
ADD VEGETABLES & SPICES:
In a medium skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely diced onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and sauté 1 minute, or until onion is translucent and the garlic fragrant.
Stir in 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste and cook for 1 minute. Add 1¾ cups diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup half and half and simmer 2 minutes. Do not be afraid to add milk to your meatloaf. The milk mixes with the bread and becomes “panade”. The panade mixes with the protein in the meat holding the meatloaf together better.
ADD FLAVOR & BONDING:
In a large bowl, lightly beat 2 large eggs. Combine 2 pounds ground sirloin, 3 slices torn sourdough bread, 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, 1/3 cup freshly chopped sage, 2 tablespoons of dry red wine (more or less depending on whether you are Bobby Flay who has been known to add an entire bottle to his cooking), and a splash of Tabasco sauce (just for a little interest). Add the onion mixture and blend well. Sorry, you are going to have to get your hands dirty or keep disposable gloves on hand.
Transfer to a loaf pan. Bake in a 350°F oven for 70 minutes. It will help to place a rimmed baking sheet under the loaf pan to catch any drippings.
Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before slicing. This allows the fats to absorb back into the meat for a more tender meatloaf.
I am serving it in a black strap molasses demi with a side of truffle mashed potatoes.
The outcome? It is definitely better than the version I grew up. I love how fresh it is, but the wonderful thing about meatloaf is it lends itself to personal taste. Play around with the recipe and add your own veggies and spices. Let me know what you come up with. – Ella💙
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 slices sourdough bread, torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute, or until onion is translucent and the garlic fragrant.
Stir in cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the tomatoes and the half and half and simmer 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, eggs, cornbread crumbs, parsley, thyme, sage, wine, and Tabasco.
Mix in the onion mixture and blend well.
Transfer to a 9x5” loaf pan and bake for 70 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing or slicing.