Let’s face it… kids would rather have their “own” than share (the common cold and flu virus being the obvious exception). Over the years, I have come to realize that this sentiment extends to food as well. For example, fudgesicles seem to be more popular than chocolate ice cream at Chez Wittmann, but they are essentially the same thing (sans stick, of course).
I was mulling over this interesting facet of the juvenile psyche as I was mixing up some meatloaf for dinner. It inspired me to try something new. Instead of reaching for the loaf pan, as I normally do, I broke out the muffin tins. Voila, personalized meatloaf…
Chez Wittmann’s Signature Meatloaf
I have been experimenting with this recipe for as long as I have been responsible for feeding children (and that seems like so many years….). Regardless, I think I have it just right now…
- 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- small glug of olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 c. fresh breadcrumbs, not too fine
- 2 eggs, whisked in a small bowl
- 1 c. grated carrot
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c. ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. mustard (ground)
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Find a saute pan and add a small glug of olive oil. Toss in the onions and garlic and saute on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, until everything begins to soften.
3) In a large (it really does need to be large) bowl, add the ground beef and ground pork.
4) Add the sauteed onions and garlic, grated carrots parsley and breadcrumbs. Use your muscles and give everything a good stir.
5) Add the Worcestershire sauce to the whisked egg and pour the mixture to the big bowl of meat. A preliminary round with a wooden spoon will help, but now is the time when you need to give your hands a good wash and mix this up with your fingers (I can see my sister looking squeamish now).
6) Season with salt and pepper. If you are a perfectionist, you can take a bit of the meatloaf mix and saute it in the pan you used for the onions and garlic. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning if you feel you need to.
7) Find a tin for large muffins. Spray it with some non-stick. Scoop in your meatloaf mixture until they just barely mound over the top. Make a big dimple in the middle of the meatloaf, as this will make a home for your glaze.
8) Pop your pan of meatloaves into the fridge to chill for a bit. Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for your glaze into a bowl and give them a good go with a whisk. TIP: I find if I add the vinegar to the sugar and ground mustard, it allows the solids to dissolve with no lumps. If I try it the other way around, I inevitably get lumps.
9) After 10 minutes or so, remove the loaves from the fridge and spoon some glaze into the dimple of each loaf. Try to spread some around the top too. Be sure to save a bit of glaze for basting.
10) Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. If you can remember, try to baste the loaves with the remaining glaze about half way through the cooking process.
11) Remove the pan from the oven and allow them to rest for a few minutes before popping them out of the pan. They will have contracted from the sides a bit, so this is quite easy to do. I would recommend serving this with Baked Macaroni and Cheese.
Another benefit to the individual style is that you can freeze leftovers (if there are any). Excellent for school lunches!