Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meatloaf for Kids Who Hate Veggies

Meatloaf has always been one of my favorites. My son, possibly the world's pickiest eater, even likes it, as long as he can't find any veggies to pick out. I have diced as fine as possible, food processed, sauteed, even tried my mom's trick of using a can of condensed vegetable soup, and he still tears it apart or refuses to eat if he even thinks they're in there, so i worked the recipe to be moist & flavorful even without the veg. He actually will ask for meatloaf on occasion, and at the very least, gobbles it up with gravy, mashed and some peas or corn on the cob on the side. For extra flavor, please feel free to mix in cooled sauteed veg, any mix of onion, carrot, celery & bell pepper.

For the Meatloaf....

2-2 1/2 lbs of ground meat. I use 93/7 turkey & ground pork for taste & value, lower fat
2 Large Eggs
1/2 cup Milk - 1% works just fine here
1 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 tbsp Grill Seasoning (1 tbsp each of Salt & Pepper works ok)
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Dry Parsley (or 1 tbsp thyme, rosemary, or your favorite herb)

For the Gravy

1 32 oz. box of Low Sodium Beef broth or Stock
1 small shallot, diced very fine or 3 tbsp finely diced onion.
1 tbsp Grill Seasoning
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Gravy Master ( near the spices in my market - gravy mixes in others)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp flour

Meatloaf can be mixed ahead to save time at dinner time. Just let come to room temp from the fridge. In a large mixing bowl. whisk together everything except the breadcrumbs and meat. This method get all the flavors & moisture blended well. Whisk in the bread crumbs. Don't get scared here, you will have a slightly runny tan paste that makes you wonder why you tried this. I use a fork to pull the meat across the "ribbons" out of the package and spread evenly over the paste.Use for to lightly mix first pound of meat. repeat for second pound. We're try to mix evenly without overworking the meat, keeping the end product much softer.

Form mixture into loaf shape, place into a 13 x 9  lightly oiled or sprayed casserole dish, i love Pyrex. Dust the top with grill seasoning or black pepper to help a nice crust form. Bake at 375 for 1hour & 15 minutes , let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

I usually start the gravy with about 45 minutes left to go on the meatloaf. Saute the shallot in a medium sauce pan with the olive oil and butter. Mediuim low heat works best so the shallot doesn't fry, looking for translucent to clear hear. Onions stand up a little better to the heat, but much more than 3 tbsp can overpower with onion flavor. Keeping heat on medium low, begin whisking in the flour.  Add the parsley and grill seasoning. I like to cook the flour for 3-4 minutes, whisking occasionally, approaching peanut butter colored rue before slowly adding the beef stock, whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Add the Gravy master and the Worcestershire Sauce when all the stock has been added. If you cannot find Gravy Master, or don't have Worcestershire, don't panic. Gravy is very good without, but they definitely enhance. You may need to raise heat to bring to a boil. Let boil slowly for about a minute and reduce heat to simmer until serving, whisking occasionally.

You just made an awesome meatloaf and gravy, serve with you favorite mashed potatoes.

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