Zucchini Meatloaf

I don’t believe people who say they’re not a fan of meatloaf. The first thing I think is that they’ve just never had a good meatloaf before. I can understand those who were scarred by the dog food version served in grade school…trust me, I’ve been there. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that meatloaf is delicious when it’s done right.

I’ve had many different kinds of meatloaf throughout the years, but tonight I will be using one of my favorite vegetables and a few risky ingredients to make this amazing classic dish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Meatloaf

  • Ground beef (1.5 lbs.)
  • Hot Italian sausage (.5 lb.)
  • Zucchini (chopped)
  • Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • Garlic cloves (chopped)
  • Breadcrumbs (1/2 cup)
  • Tomato paste (6oz can)
  • Beef stock (1/2 cup)
  • Red wine
  • Salt and pepper

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Sauce

  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Granulated garlic

Now let’s put it all together…

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while you prepare the meatloaf.

In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, sausage, beef stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.

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Note: The beef stock adds flavor and helps keep the loaf moist. Sausage, ground pork or veal are great add-in meats for flavor because the beef on its own can be bland. The tomato paste was an “on the fly” move, but I’ve always wanted to try it. (*spoiler* it turned out great!)

Use your hands to fully mix everything together.

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Note: It can be difficult to properly incorporate ingredients into meat with a spoon or masher since it’s so dense. Besides, who doesn’t like getting a little messy in the kitchen anyway?

Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and mix.

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Note: The breadcrumbs will help keep the loaf together. It’s especially prone to falling apart with all of the vegetables added. Normally I would also use egg for this very purpose, but I didn’t have any eggs! It’s part of the reason why I thought I’d give the tomato paste a shot.

Now mix in the chopped garlic, onion, and zucchini.

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Note: Make sure the vegetables and garlic are well distributed throughout the loaf.

Pour some red wine into a small baking dish. You only need enough to cover the bottom.

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Note: The red wine is also for flavor and keeping the loaf moist. It’s not a must, but it does add quite a bit of depth to the meatloaf.

Transfer the loaf to the baking dish and form accordingly.

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Cover and put in the oven for 40 minutes.

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While the meatloaf is baking, make the sauce.

In a small cup or bowl, mix together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of granulated garlic.

Note: The amount of ketchup to Worcestershire you use is up to you. I like my sauce to be a little spicy, so I tend to use more Worcestershire. Either way, you will need enough to make a relatively thick layer of sauce for the top of the loaf. I’d say at least ½ cup.

(On a completely random note, this sauce is also perfect as a steak sauce. I think most of the steak sauces you buy from the store are always too sweet. At least for me.)

After 40 minutes, take the loaf out and drain ¾ of the excess liquid.

Spread a thick and even amount of sauce over the top.

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Set the oven to broil and put the loaf back in (uncovered).

Note: Make sure you put it on the bottom rack to avoid burning the sauce.

The loaf should be ready to come out after about 15 more minutes.

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Note: Let it sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!

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This dinner definitely calls for a side of mashed potatoes. Tonight, I am also serving it with some steamed bok choy and a salad.

I hope this dish can change a few minds amongst the meatloaf naysayers out there.

Until next time, take care.

Cheers

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