Meatier Meatloaf

September 15, 2012

After an exhausting summer, I finally have time to start cooking again, but unfortunately the current issue of Cook’s Illustrated doesn’t seem so interesting. The best remaining main course is “meatier meatloaf”. In the past I have made this All-Beef Meatloaf, and was very happy with the results. Today’s recipe uses the same unflavored gelatin to bind the loaf together.  This recipe skips the celery in favor of mushrooms, uses bread instead of saltines, and skips the cheese altogether. Today I used only ground beef and pork; skipping the “meekly-flavored” veal. Adding unflavored gelatin does the same thing that veal would. My youngest son loved it, and ate 5 slices. I give this recipe 4-stars; fewer ingredients than Chris Kimball’s other meatloaf, but equally good. In the end I never consider meatloaf to be great.

Beef and Pork meatloaf ready in about 2 hours.


  1. I usually buy ground beef in “Family Packs”, because that it what goes on sale and another reason that I find the All-Beef version so convenient. But my supermarket only sells ground pork in 1-lb packages, so as long as I can use the extra few pounds of beef from the family pack for some other recipe there should be no waste.
  2. The glaze between the two meatloaves is identical.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $10
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time: 4:30. Dinner time: 6:30

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

Meatloaf Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion
6 ounces white mushrooms
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Almost 3/4 cup chicken broth (3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 slice hearty white sandwich bread
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound ground pork
1 pound 85% lean ground beef

Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  1. Set an oven rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 350-degrees. Fold some heavy-duty aluminium foil into a 9″ by 5″ rectangle. Put it in the center of a wire rack and use a paring knife to poke about 1/2″ apart. Set rack in a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil (for easy cleanup). Use a little non-spick cooking spray on the foil.
  2. Chop the onion into fine pieces. Trim the mushrooms and slice them thinly.
  3. Put at 12″ skillet over medium burner and melt butter until the foaming begins to subside. Saute onions and mushrooms for 12 minutes until they begin to brown. Add in tomato paste and continue cooking for 3 more minutes; stir constantly.
  4. Turn down burner to low, and use a garlic press adding garlic directly into the pan. Use 3 tablespoons of chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Cook for about 1 minutes then empty into a large bowl.
  5. Add 1/2-cup chicken broth, eggs and soy sauce to a small bowl. Whisk to combine, then sprinkle with unflavored gelatin and allow it to soften for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mince the parsley.
  7. Tear the bread into 1″ pieces and add to food processor. Pulse between 5 to 10 times. Add gelatin/egg mixture, onion/mushrooms, minced parsley, Dijon, pepper and dried thyme into food processor. Pulse 10 more times until everything becomes finely ground. Empty into your large bowl (the one in which the onions cooled).
  8. Add ground beef and ground pork to bowl. Combine thoroughly using your hands, then form into a 9″ by 5″ rectangle on the prepared foil.
  9. Bake for about 80 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat loaf reaches 160-degrees. Remove from oven and pre-heat your broiler.
  10. While the meatloaf is cooking, add all the glaze ingredients to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until it becomes thick. Set aside until meatloaf finishes cooking in step 9.
  11. Use a rubber spatula to evenly cover the meatloaf with half the glaze. Broil for 2 minutes. When the glaze begins to bubble and brown, remove the meatloaf and evenly coat with the rest of the glaze. Broil for 2 more minutes, removing from broiler when the glaze begins to bubble and brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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