I have a tiny apartment and an equally tiny kitchen.
Scratch that. Depending on how you look at it, I either have a large kitchen with a couch, TV, and bookshelves or a living room with a sink, refrigerator, and stove. Yes, my living room and kitchen are essentially one large room. Oh, New York, New York.
Anyway, with literally a foot of counter space to work with, cooking at home is sometimes a bit of a chore. That's why I went a little crazy the other day here at the Serious Eats office, cleaning up and organizing our underused kitchenette to free up a relatively ample work surface. My plan was to make my National Meatloaf Appreciation Day meatloaf in the toaster oven here. Crazy, I know, but it was either that or the microwave, and not even I am willing to go there.
So with a made-over work-ready kitchenette on stand-by, I made a quick mid-morning trip to the Whole Foods a couple blocks from the office, with my recipe in hand.
My recipe is one I got from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. And just so you don't think I never cook at home, I'll have you know that this recipe is taped to the inside of my cupboard there, with annotations and such scrawled on it.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds ground round
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chili sauce, plus 1/4 cup for glaze
- 1/4 cup ketchup, plus 1/4 cup for glaze
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Preheat toaster oven to 350°F, with rack at bottom. In a large bowl, pour milk over bread and let soak about 30 seconds. Add ground round, pork, onion, garlic, 1/4 cup chili sauce, 1/4 cup ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix until combined, but do not overmix or your meatloaf will become dense.
Divide mixture in half. Gently form each half into a log, placing one log in an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Do not press down or into corners. For other log, you may refrigerate (for up to 1 day) or freeze for later use.
Bake 50 minutes. Mix together 1/8 cup of chili sauce and ketchup and the tablespoon of brown sugar. Brush glaze onto top of loaf; continue cooking until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 160°F, about 10 minutes more.
Remove from oven; let rest 5 minutes. Turn loaf out of pan; slice into 3/4-inch-thick slices.
Repeat step 3 for second loaf.
Note: For even more crisp edge surface, you can form meat mixture into a loaf shape and bake directly drip pan.