When my eldest son was about 4 years old I made meatloaf. Since it was something I rarely made, he did not remember ever seeing it. He was oddly excited when he saw me take it out of the oven.
“What is that?” he had asked.
“It’s a meat loaf!” I replied.
“Oh, I love that meatloaf.” he had said.
Dinner time came and I sliced a piece off the meatloaf for him and put it on his plate. He excitedly dove his fork into it. Put it into his mouth. And then spit it back out onto the table.
“That is a yucky cake! I do not like that cake!” he yelled.
Poor child, he thought we were having cake for dinner. I could only laugh. To this day whenever I make meatloaf I say, “Oh honey, remember this is not a cake.”
I used to always use the typical onion soup mix recipe, then I read the label.
Then I threw the box away and never looked back.
I think that there are many of us (me) who are intimidated by cooking. It seems so difficult. So time consuming. So many ingredients and spices. Over the past few years I have learned to trust myself and move entirely away from processed foods. And in the process I have discovered that when you use real foods, it is difficult to make something that is truly awful.
I am also not afraid of a little fat in our diet. I know it might seem as though we eat bacon every day, but we don’t. Though I think the buffet table in Heaven is made up of bacon, chocolate, and coffee. The mini size of the meatloaf means that it is much easuer to portion control. None of us ate more than one here.
It is sort of like a tiny self contained bacon cheeseburger.
1 tablespoon or so of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
*2 eggs- I didn’t use eggs due to allergies instead using 1T cornstarch)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup dry bread crumbs (I use gluten free bread crumbs, you, however, should feel free to bask in the love of gluten)
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
2 pounds ground beef
Doing the garlic is hard work.
Sometimes it requires more than one person.
I ran my onion through our mini food processor. You certainly could just chop the onion up, but I like to fully pulverize it so that it is not at all recognizable to small picky children.
Even though they help cut it up and mix it into the meatloaf, they have not made the connection that they will then eat it. They might not be the brightest bulbs but at least they are cute, right?
Measuring out the salt. As you can tell, neatness does not count.
I like to mix the dry ingredients and spices into the bowl with the onion and then dump the entire thing into the meat.
In lieu of actually measuring, just pour some olive oil on the top. Pour for the length of time it takes to focus the camera and snap a non-blurry photo.
Add your bread crumbs. These are plain, so as not to interfere with the other flavors. Like bacon and ketchup.
Mix the breadcrumbs into the mix. You will need to use your hands and knead it up well. If you are going to use shredded cheese toss it in at this point as well.
I have no photos of this part because my hands were covered in raw meat and I love my camera more than I love you, internet. I am sorry.
Roll the meat into a ball like shape that fits into your muffin tin. Grab a slice of bacon, or half a slice if your bacon is particularly long, and wrap the meatloaf with it. Then put it into the tin.
Bake in a 350 oven for 12 minutes. Then turn your oven up to broil to crisp up the bacon for 2 minutes. Served with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.
Those of you who are worried about calories can make this is a mini muffin pan.
Oh I kid. You would just end up popping them in your mouth like Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts.