Daylight Savings Time is here once again. We have more daylight, although so far I’ve seen more clouds than sun. I’m sure that will change soon. As we begin to think about lighter meals, I decided to make a meatloaf for what’s likely the last time until we break the grill out.
Meatloaf is a favorite meal for many people, especially when the cook knows just how to bring the flavors together. I discovered a recipe for meatloaf on the Kitchn site and I like it a lot. I did adapt it with a few tweaks for vegans. I hope you’ll give this recipe a whirl.
Meatloaf recipe by The Kitchn and adapted by Chamein Canton
1 cup torn-up bread pieces, or 1/2 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free bread or breadcrumbs)
(¼ cup to ½ cup panko crumbs For Vegan meatloaf only)
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk (rice or soy milk)
1 small onion, diced small
1 small carrot, peeled and diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 pounds ground meat, such as beef, pork, veal, lamb, or a mix (1 ½ pounds ground turkey and ½ pound ground turkey breast mix) (2-packages vegan groundless beef, Impossible burger ground, Beyond beef ground, Gardein groundless beef)
2 large eggs, beaten ( ½ cup Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, or egg replacer)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan Worcestershire sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup ketchup, BBQ sauce, or other sauce to coat (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven, and heat to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or other baking dish with aluminum foil.
Soak the bread pieces in the milk. Combine the bread pieces and the milk in a small bowl. Let stand until the bread has broken down into a thick porridge, occasionally stirring and mushing the bread against the sides of the bowl. You can leave the crusts on the bread or trim them off before soaking; if you leave them on, remove any large pieces that haven’t broken down after soaking.
Cook the veggies. Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the diced onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots have softened, 6 to 8 minutes. If the vegetables begin to brown, turn down the heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the thyme and tomato paste, and stir until coated. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Make the meatloaf mix. Place the ground meat, beaten eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, soaked bread and milk, and cooked vegetables in a large bowl. Working quickly, use your hands to work the ingredients together until just combined.
Shape the loaf. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the foil-lined baking sheet or baking dish. Shape it into a rough 9×5-inch loaf. (If using a loaf pan, just pat the meatloaf mixture into the pan.)
Coat the loaf with ketchup or bacon (optional). Spread 1/4 cup of the ketchup mixture over the meatloaf (reserve the other 1/4 cup for later). Alternatively, drape the loaf with bacon slices.
Bake for 45 minutes. Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes.
Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup over the loaf. Bake until the middle of the loaf registers at least 155°F on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes more (about 1 hour total).
Cool 15 minutes before serving. Let the loaf cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. If you baked the meatloaf in a loaf pan, carefully drain off the liquid fat before transferring the meatloaf to a clean cutting board. Cut into thick slices and serve.
Notes If using the groundless beef for a vegan loaf, watch if the mixture is too wet. You can adjust by adding more panko bread crumbs to give it more structure. Most vegan ground meat manages to keep it’s toothiness, but the mirepoix might add a little more moisture to the mix. The bread crumbs will help. You’ll be able to judge when it’s right to you.