This is some seriously hardcore meatloaf, jam packed full of tasty stuff (most of it even good for you!) without a breadcrumb to be found. The problem I have with meatloaf is that it tends to get so dense and dry, and my challenge here was to keep things moist and light. I’m happy to report that this meatloaf fit the bill. Mine was slightly over cooked, but it was still light and tender and moist. (Stupid broken meat thermometer…)
As a note, I didn’t add any salt because the bacon (you read that right, BACON!!) I was using tends to be salty, and I would rather add salt as I am eating then try and suffer through a salt lick. Depending on the bacon, it might be a good idea to add salt to this mix.
– 2 lbs or so ground beef
– half an onion
– 5 or 6 cloves garlic
– bit of oil (whatever kind floats your boat)
– 1 sweet potato
– 2 carrots
– couple glugs of chicken broth
– 1 zucchini
– 5 slices thick sliced bacon, frozen (take this out as you start to cook so it will not be like bacon rocks, but it should still be mostly frozen)
– 2 eggs
– Cranberry apple sauce (or whatever sauce you like for the top)
There is a bit of hardware needed for this one. Actually, it’s mostly big stuff. I somehow managed to accidentally delete a picture, so first you need:
– A baking sheet with a lip. I covered mine in tinfoil, then parchment paper.
– Food processor with the normal blade, then a shredder attatchment
– A pan with which to cook veggies. I like my dutch oven for this, but whatever pan you like
– A rubber spatula or wooden spoon
– A vegetable peeler
– A good knife
– A big honkin’ bowl
First, get some fat into the pan and let it heat up.
Cut the onion up just a touch, and get the garlic peeled.
Toss them into the food processor and give them a bit of a blitz. (For the record, I took out that big chunk of onion.)
Throw the chopped onion and garlic into the pan, and let them start to sweat it out over medium low heat.
Peel the sweet potato and the carrots…
Give them a rough chop…
And using the shredder attachment, shred them up in the food processor. Wonder where the hell the funky shadows are coming from.
Throw the shredded root veggies into the pan with the onions and garlic…
Add a few glugs of chicken stock… (not a ton… I would say about a quarter of a cup)
And throw a lid on the pot. Let the veggies do some cooking/steaming. This took about 10 – 15 minutes. Once they are tenderish, take them off the heat and take the lid off to let them cool. While they cool, preheat the oven to 350…
Cut the ends off the zucchini and shred it, and throw it in the big ol’ bowl.
Rough chop the bacon…
and put the regular blade back in the food processor. Throw the bacon (which is still mostly frozen) and chop it up.
Add a couple eggs…
And give it a good blitz. It’ll look gross, but it’s totally worth it in the end.
Add the bacon mess to the zucchini in the big bowl, and mix ’em up.
Add the cooled root veg, and mix again. The goal here is to get all this stuff mixed really well so that the meat can be handled as little as possible so it doesn’t get tough.
Add the meat…
And mix the final time.
Form the loaves on the pan. I like free form loaves. I made three big ones, but smaller loaves are certainly good here too. Stick these into a 350 oven for about half an hour.
After they cook for half an hour add, the cranberry apple sauce (or whatever) and let them cook until they are done. The recommended temp for ground beef is around 160. I let mine cook for 2 hours total, and the meat thermometer never even hit 140, but they were well done after that. Thus, stupid crap broken meat thermometer. I suspect they would have been fine after an hour, but I would check if I were you.
As soon as they are done cooking, take them out of the cooking juice stew, and put them on a platter. Enjoy!!
As a side note, the light was terrible when I was taking pictures when I made these, so I actually took the finished product pictures the next day in natural light. That is why the cranberry glaze looks dull. It was beautiful ruby red when they came out of the oven, but dulled down in the fridge overnight. It still tasted mighty delicious, but it just wasn’t as pretty.