So…if you had absolutely no life, an abundant amount of time on your hands and no responsibilities and happened to have the interest in perusing the history of this blog…you would see that ground meat and I have a precarious relationship.
Which is funny because I have lots of recipes on this blog using ground meat (like my “Magic Meatballs“). But those are recipes I’ve only ever been able to take a few bites of before I feel like I swallowed a gold brick.
But yesterday I had a taste for meatloaf. And when you have a taste for meatloaf, it cannot be denied.
Wait…let me correct myself. I had a taste for my mother’s meatloaf. Oh her meatloaf was the thing of iconic food dreams. It sliced perfectly yet was dripping with juices, it was so moist! Unfortunately, in her recipe that also meant it was also full of fat, which put together with ground meat is a sure-fire way to get me to pray at the temple of the porcelain gods.
When Mama Foodie passed away, I tried to play with her recipe and wasn’t very successful. The meatloaves were “ok.” But they didn’t achieve that level of moisture she got with the high fat meats and bread soaked in milk and yadda, yadda.
But yesterday I decided to give it one more shot. And…I was successful! So I’m sharing the recipe (sorry, without process pics because I didn’t start off making this for the blog). You can make this in a muffin tin, mini-loaf pan or whatever you want. I made a big loaf because I was feeding three non-ops.
Seriously? This is my go-to meatloaf recipe. The zucchini keeps things moist without the old breadcrumb and milk combo, and it’s also a great way to sneak veggies into your kids like the ninja parent that you are! (Just sayin…)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine meat with onions, zucchini, any other veggies you're using and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add egg and the tablespoon of steak (or Worcestershire sauce) and mix again.
Bake for about 40 minutes for a whole loaf. Mini loaves should only take about 30 minutes. I baked it uncovered but if you are using a lower fat cut of meat, cover with foil to preserve as much moisture as you can.
My general (read: Old Wives) method of checking the done-ness of meat: Poke your finger in the thickest part of the loaf. If it feels soft under the surface it isn't done. If it feels firm when you press it, it's done. If after the allotted time you're not sure if it's done all the way, turn off the oven and let the loaf sit in the oven as it cools.
Remove loaf from oven to a cool surface for about 10 minutes before cutting. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine ketchup and steak (or, again, Worcestershire sauce) in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. I also include a bit of the extra pan juice from the meatloaf but that adds fat to the sauce so if you don't want it, don't use it!
Pour the sauce on top of the loaf and slice! If using mini loaves you can either put it on the individual loaves or set it on the table in a bowl for people to take what they like.