There is something wonderfully soul satisfying about meat loaf in the fall season. So when a reader from Michigan, named Gerri Lynn, mentioned it had been a considerable length of time since her last meat loaf experience. I decided this was a perfect time to pull out my trusty recipe of meaty goodness and give it new life.
One item that is most frustrating about traditional meat loaf recipes is the length of time it takes to bake. Who has time to watch ground meat bake for upwards of 50 minutes? I sure don’t. So my solution was to modify the recipe to serve individual sized portions. This not only cut the cooking time in half, it also will offer a serious cuteness factor when entertaining guests.
Finally, it may seem a little unorthodox to see carrots, scallions and horseradish incorporated into the final product. I believe it’s a perfect way to inject more vegetables into your youngster’s diet, while taking the flavor factor to the next level.
Sensational Mini Meat Loaves
1 ½ lb. lean ground beef
½ cup celery, finely chopped
¼ cup carrots, shredded or minced
¼ cup scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup bread crumbs, seasoned dry
¼ cup sour cream
3 Tbl. horseradish
1 Tbl. Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
½ cup ketchup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, fold the celery, carrots, scallions, bread crumbs, sour cream, horseradish, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and egg until completely combined. Next, add the ground beef, salt and pepper to the wet mixture. Mix with a fork to keep the meat light and airy.
Shape into eight evenly sized mini loaves, and place in a baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Top each loaf with ketchup. Bake the loaves at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes or until completely cooked in the center.
Authors Note: Since I own mini loaf pans, I decided to use them for this recipe. If you do not own such a baking device, evenly spacing the loaves in a 9” x 13” baking pan will be a fine substitute. Also, it is very important to use lean beef for this dish. The beef to fat ratio I used was 93% beef to 7% fat. I tried making this with 80%/20% beef once and the loaves were practically cooked in a sea of fat. Not pretty.