Ina Garten calls these “Individual Meat Loaves,” but since I ate mine while I was watching “Austin Powers in Goldmember,”they’ll always be Mini Meatloaves to me.
Yes, in honor of Mini-Me, the one-eighth-size clone of Dr. Evil.
Don’t you judge me!
Each one of these mini meatloaves is one-sixth the size of a regular meatloaf. Why would anyone go to the trouble?
1. Small things are cute. (See also cupcakes, teacup pigs and babies)
2. A miniature meatloaf looks nicer on the plate than slices cut from a larger loaf.
3. The texture. Every mini meatloaf is like the heel of a full-sized loaf. Where a slice of meatloaf has a firm edge and a moist interior, a mini meatloaf has much more surface area. That makes it perfect for a meatloaf sandwich, because it doesn’t fall apart, and all that surface means you get more ketchup, chili sauce, etc. with each serving.
4. With individual meatloaves, you can customize the condiments. Ketchup for some, chili sauce for others, nothing for your weird nephew who hates ketchup.
5. The leftovers look better. A leftover regular meatloaf looks like the dog’s dinner, but a leftover mini meatloaf? Still uncut and pure as a prayer.
But, I swear, I’m not going to bring up the sex tape. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
From Ina Garten (“Barefoot Contessa,” Food Network)
Makes 6 mini loaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
- 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)
- 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. (Don’t mash or the meatloaf will be dense.)
- Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions, and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot.