December 22, 2013
Quick Mini Meatloaf
Rodney Strong 2011 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
We are preparing to leave for a two-week vacation in New Zealand and that drives what is in this Sunday, Dinner for Two post, and what is not. It also explains why it's being posted so much earlier than usual. I needed a Sunday dinner that would not generate any leftovers, or would generate leftovers that could be frozen. I've been wanting to have meat loaf and this recipe for individual meat loaves seemed to meet all of the criteria. Not only could it be made quickly and easily, but it provides us with food that we can prepare quickly when we get back home. We will use up our potatoes by mashing and freezing them so we shouldn't have to go grocery shopping to have an easy complete dinner on our first day back.
The meat loaf recipe came from The America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook where it was called "All-American Mini Meatloaves". The technique should be useful with any meat loaf recipe. The small free-form loaves cook quickly and I was able to prepare the whole dinner in well under an hour. The original recipe calls for 1½ pounds of meat which makes 4 individual serving-sized loaves. These are well browned on one side in an oven-proof skillet. The loaves are then carefully turned over, the glaze is applied (in this case a mixture of brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar), and they are baked in a 350° oven to an internal temperature of 160° which only takes about 20 minutes.
The meat loaves were pretty good, they were tender and juicy and nicely flavored. They were a little lacking in beef flavor as the flavor from the browned side of the meat was overwhelmed by the glaze. Diane thought the glaze was too sweet but she allowed that this may just be because it is not the kind of meat loaf she grew up with.
For what it's worth, this is my 100th post to Sunday, Dinner for Two. :-)