Since comfort food season is upon us (lots of rain!), this seemed like the perfect recipe to try. I don’t think I’ve ever made meatloaf, because it just seems like a big chunk of ground beef, and that doesn’t sound very appetizing to me. But these giant meatballs looked a lot more appealing. The recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman.
The cookbook says the recipe serves 6, but for me it served 5 with a lot of leftovers. I served it with a salad and bread on the side.
I changed the potato recipe a bit, cutting the butter amount in half. As well, I took a shortcut and made ‘smashed potatoes,’ with the peels still on. The recipe said to peel them after cooking, but I was running short on time. Plus the skins contain more nutrients. So unless you want really smooth mashed potatoes, leaving the skins on is an option.
What you need for the glaze:
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
What you need for the meatballs:
- 2 slices sandwich bread
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- olive oil, for cooking
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 900g (2 pounds) extra lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs
What you need for the potatoes:
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1/4 cup browned butter*
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground black pepper
What you do:
- To make the glaze, whisk the ingredients together in a small saucepan for two minutes. Set aside.
- To make the meatballs, begin by tearing the bread into chunks, then blend in a food processor into fine breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
- Put the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in the food processor and process until finely chopped. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom of it with a little olive oil. After the oil has heated, add the chopped vegetables. Stir often and cook until they begin to brown, which will take 10-15 minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the bowl with the breadcrumbs, then add the salt, pepper, beef, tomato paste, paprika, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, milk, parsley and eggs. (now you can preheat the oven to 350F and begin cooking the potatoes – see step #5) Stir this mixture together with a fork, then use wet hands to form 12 balls. Place them, with some space between, on a baking tray. Spread some of the tomato glaze on each meatloaf, then bake for about 20 minutes. If you test with a thermometer inserted into the centre it should read 160-165F.
- Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 20-30 minutes, until a knife can be easily inserted into the potatoes. Drain the potatoes, then put them back in the pot (peel first if you wish), then add the butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to break up the potatoes and mix in the liquid. Mash until creamy.
- Serve the meatloaves on a bed of potato, garnishing with some parsley.
*To make browned butter, melt it in a pot on medium-low heat. It will become foamy, then golden, and then it will begin to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir often, and remove from the heat once it becomes browned.