All-Beef Meatloaf

March 17, 2012

I’ve been making this all-beef meatloaf for about 5 years. I’ve had such great luck with it that I haven’t since made one with the traditionally combination of ground pork, veal and beef.  Of course, the “all-beef” mostly makes it’s cheaper and more convenient; it doesn’t make it taste better. But Chris Kimball has done great job in making this version on-par with the classic combination; 4-stars.

While I was sauteing the vegetables, an Italian friend telephoned, and she asked me if I was using salami and mozzarella. Hmmm. No, but maybe next time.

Tasty meatloaf without pork or veal.


  1. The main drawback is the long list of ingredients, but most of them are usually in my kitchen. Usually I only have to buy one or two of the ingredients.
  2. Today I used 2 pounds ground chuck instead of the usual chuck/sirloin combination. I think it lost some of it’s beefy flavor, but I already had the hamburger meat in my refrigerator.
  3. Unfortunately, my oldest son says he doesn’t like meatloaf, but that gave my youngest son the chance to have leftovers the next day. Be sure to promptly wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or an oxidized crust will form.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $8.50.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 4:00 PM. Finish time 6:15 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:

3 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion (when chopped fine should be 1 cup)
1 medium rib celery (when chopped fine should be 1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon unflavored, powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
22 saltine crackers
2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound 90% lean ground sirloin
1 pound 80% lean ground beef chuck

Ketchup Glaze:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

  1. Adjust a rack to the middle of your oven, and preheat to 375-degrees. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up). Set a wire rack inside sheet pan. Fold an 11″x6″ square of aluminum foil and set on-top of wire rack. Use a chop stick or paring knife to poke a holes approximately every square inch for drainage of excess fat.
  2. Use the small holes of your cheese grater to grate cheese. Spread it out on a plate and freeze until step XXXXXX.
  3. Finely chop onions and celery. Place a 10″ skillet over a medium-high burner and melt 1 tablespoon. When butter is foaming, saute onions and celery for 7 minutes until it begins to brown. Meanwhile while the onions are cooking, peel your garlic, mince your thyme, and crush saltines in food processor. In a large bowl, combine chicken broth and eggs, then sprinkle unflavored gelatin; allow gelatin to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Press your garlic cloves directly into the skillet, add minced thyme and paprika. Continue cooking for 1 minute.
  5. Reduce burner to low and add 1/4 cup of tomato juice. Continue cooking for 1 more minute, before allowing to cool in a small bowl.
  6. Add soy sauce, Dijon, minced parley, salt and ground black pepper to onions.
  7. Add onion mixture to large bowl with gelatin, add saltine crumbs, then crumble frozen cheese into a coarse powder. Add ground beef. Use your hands to mix all ingredients together, and form into a rough loaf shape. Place your loaf on the 11″x6″ rectangle of aluminum foil. Use a moistened spatula to smooth the top and sides of the loaf.
  8. Bake at 375-degrees for 60 minutes until internal temperature reaches 150-degrees. With 10 minutes remaining (of the 60 minutes) combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until it becomes thick.
  9. Remove loaf from oven, and pre-heat broiler on high.
  10. Use a rubber spatula to evenly coat the meatloaf with the half the glaze. Broil for 5 minutes until the glaze begins to bubble.
  11. Remove meatloaf and coat with the remaining glaze. Again, broil for 4 minutes until the glaze begins to bubble.
  12. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

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