Most meatloaf recipes skimp on our favorite part — the caramelized, craggy edges that are packed with concentrated bits of everything we love about meatloaf.
For more of the good stuff, there has to be a perfect ratio of moist middle to crispy, caramelized, savory outside, which can only happen by making smaller, thinner meatloaves. Smaller and thinner will sacrifice the half dome-like traditional shape you’re used to, but it won’t matter much once you tasted it.
The meatloaf mix-ins are just as important. Rather than allowing raw garlic and onion to steam inside the meat while it’s baking in the oven, garlic and onions are caramelized with anchovy and tomato paste, then married with breadcrumbs, and left in the pan to toast.
Mashed potatoes get an upgrade as well, with butter and heavy cream infused with lots of minced garlic, and a few dollops of horseradish. Comfort.
- 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 large onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. sea salt, divided
- 2 tsp. anchovy paste, or 3 whole anchovies
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs (or panko if tolerated)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
- 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- In a medium sauté pan, heat 3 tbsp. of the olive oil over medium heat until loose and easily coats the pan. Add onion, garlic, and half of the salt. Sweat ingredients until translucent and water begins to evaporate; push ingredients to one side of the pan.
- Increase heat to medium. Add anchovy paste and tomato paste on the empty side of the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until anchovy and tomato pastes are fragrant and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir anchovy and tomato into onions and garlic.
- Add remaining olive oil and salt; stir to incorporate. Add breadcrumbs, stir until well combined. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bread crumbs begin to toast. Remove pan from heat, let cool 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl add ground chuck, parsley, and eggs; using hands, toss together until barely distributed. Add bread crumb mixture and continue to mix with ground chuck using hands until well combined, being careful not to compact the mixture.
- Divide mixture between two, standard 8.5×4.5” loaf pans. Place pans on a sheet pan; place sheet pan in oven. Bake 35-40 minutes or until meatloaves are crusty on top and juices are bubbling.
- Remove pan from oven. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- 4 large russet potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tbsp. butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. prepared horseradish
- In a medium saucepan add potatoes and salt. Fill pan with water until just covering potatoes.
- Heat potatoes over medium-high heat. Bring to boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 12 – 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan add cream, butter, garlic, and horseradish. Heat mixture over low heat until butter is melted, swirling pan occasionally.
- Drain potatoes, return to pan. Add cream mixture to potatoes, and using a masher or electric mixer, mash potatoes to desired consistency. Add chicken stock or additional cream to thin as needed. Season with additional salt to taste.
- This recipes does not contain ketchup or similar sauce. Instead, there is tomato paste and balsamic vinegar, which is essentially creates the same flavor as ketchup, but without the added sugar.
- Sauteing and toasting the ingredients before adding to the ground chuck adds more flavor to the meatloaf. Without this step, the onion and garlic will steam while in the oven, lending little to no flavor to the meatloaf.
- The anchovy is considered a salty, savory ingredient. You’ll never taste the “fishiness,” just the salt and savory.
- Cook potatoes in plenty of salted water, just like you would pasta. The salt in the water will season the potatoes.