Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spicy Ketchup Meatloaf

My family loves meatloaf.  That could explain why this is my 6th Meatloaf recipe.  

My notes to you...
Instead of the usual tomato smear or gravy, I decided to kick it up a notch and top it with spicy ketchup.  This ketchup is sweet and tangy with a fiery kick.  For some this ketchup can pack a lot of heat and for others, it might seem pretty wimpy.  

I suggest that you hold back some of the fiery ingredients when making the ketchup, tasting as you go, adding as little or as much heat as you desire.

My spicy ketchup got spicier and for that matter, tastier, the next day.  So, if time allows, make it a day ahead to let the flavors really come out.  This recipe makes more than you will need for glazing your loaf, the extra is intended to be served alongside of your meatloaf.  However, if you are not a saucy kind of person, cut the recipe in half, it will be enough to glaze the meatloaf during baking.

Here’s the run down on the hot stuff that I chose to make my ketchup spicy... 

  • The hot sauce is more of a flavor additive to give the ketchup a bit of a zing rather than heat, so don’t hesitate to go crazy with it.  
  • The cayenne will be a little sneakier, not allowing you to truly feel the heat until it hits the back of your mouth with a delayed kick.  
  • The red chile pepper flakes will set your mouth on fire so go slow, Remember you can always add, but you can’t take it out!

Use my stale bread idea to absorb the oil…

  • There are several ways to drain the oil from the meatloaf.  Pour it off, dab it up with paper towels or bake it with stale bread slices.  I save my stale bread to soak up the grease when I make meatloaf  (the ends don't work as well) and place the pieces around the meatloaf before placing it in the oven.  The bread slices will absorb the oil as the meatloaf cooks.  Then all you have to do is remove the oil soaked bread slices and toss them out.

Spreading the seasonings out evenly…

  • When I make meatloaf I always mix everything together into a mushy mash before mixing in the meat.  That way all the flavorings get evenly distributed throughout without having to over mix.

Form your loaf…

I usually just free form my meatloaf but I thought I should share this little trick.  Place an over-sized piece of plastic wrap over your loaf pans and 
stuff in the meatloaf mixture.  Press it down firmly so the meatloaf will hold its form.  

You could cook these in the loaf pans, but I hate the idea of the meatloaf stewing it its own grease.  That's just me...
Turn out on a foil lined baking sheet (easy clean up).  This is helpful for forming the loaf as well as if you are not planning to bake it until later it will already be wrapped.

I wasn't thinking clearly when I made these meatloaves and cooked them on parchment instead of foil.  Huge mistake, messy, messy, mess!  Foil is what you want to use.

3          pounds           ground beef
1          large               onion, diced small and sautéed in a little oil until soft
2          cloves             garlic, minced
1          cup                  bread crumbs
2          Tbsp.              Worcestershire
2          Tbsp.              Ketchup
1          tsp.                  kosher salt
½        tsp.                  black pepper
1          large                egg
½        cup                  milk

Sweat the onions and garlic over med-low heat in a little oil to soften.

Place the bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl and add the softened onions and garlic.  Mix to coat with bread crumbs.  Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT THE BEEF and mix well.

Add ground beef and mix to blend with the seasonings.

Shape into one or two loaves and place on a sheet pan that has been lined with foil (easy clean up).  Spoon about ¼ cup of the spicy ketchup over the top of the meatloaf and spread with the back of a spoon to even out.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 min.  Remove from the oven and turn oven up to 400 degrees; drain oil; sauce the meatloaf again; return to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.  Let rest for 15 minutes or more before slicing.

How long should I cook the meatloaf…
If you make 2 smaller 1.5# loaves it will take a total of 1 hour;
45 min. sauce; 15 min more.
If you make 1 large 3# loaf it will take 1 hour and 15 minutes;
1 hour; sauce; 15 minutes more.

1 ½        cups    ketchup
2              Tbsp.    brown sugar
1              Tbsp.   worcestershire sauce
2              tsp.      dry mustard
2              tsp.      hot sauce (Tabasco or Cholula are my favorites)
½           tsp.      cayenne
½           tsp.      crushed red chile pepper
1              clove   garlic, minced

Mix together all ingredients and set aside.

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