I’m here to tell you that grilling your meatloaf is a total game changer. In fact, I’m not sure I will put it in the oven ever again! Unless it’s pouring rain or blowing snow, which might convince me otherwise.
Grilling meatloaf transforms it from a cold-weather comfort food into a refreshing change from burgers. Not that burgers aren’t great, mind you. But change is good. Especially when it involves the grill!
That’s what happened to me…bored with the same old thing, I wanted to shake things up a little. Adding a little char to a comfort food favorite adds a whole new dimension of smoky flavor and texture. Oh, my!
In fact, I’m eating the last piece for breakfast right now. Except there’s not as much left now as there is in this picture. 😉
When Jimmy and I first got together, I must have tried at least 8 different meatloaf recipes before I found one we both liked. This really versatile recipe for Market Meatloaf calls for cumin and finishing it off under the broiler with cheese and green onions. Sometimes I do that last step, but most often I just pull it out of the oven and serve.
It is NOT spicy, although I think a dash of Tabasco would be really, really good and give it some kick.
The recipe came from Leanne Ely at SavingDinner. About ten years ago or more, I was really going through a cooking rut and subscribed to her service, Menu Mailer. Every week I received an email with 6-7 entree recipes and a shopping list. Most of the recipes were really good, made with normal ingredients, and I ended up with several that I still use to this day.
Here’s the recipe in its entirety if you prefer not to grill; grilling instructions are in italics. This way you can prepare it either way!
1 pound ground beef (I actually had 2 pounds and doubled it so if it looks like a lot, that’s why)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons milk (I have used coconut milk before and even mayo as a substitute when I was out of milk and there’s no change in flavor. But Shhhh, don’t tell my husband, he things he doesn’t like mayonnaise.)
1 tablespoon ketchup
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees or pre-heat grill to between 350-400 degrees.
In large bowl, combine meatloaf ingredients, ground beef to salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and press into an 8 x 8 or 9-inch square pan. If you’re grilling, saute the onion first until soft with a little bit of char on the edges before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.
For the grill, I used a cast-iron griddle pan, then just sauteed the onion in it first. If you don’t have a griddle pan, I imagine a cast-iron skillet would work just as well.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until no longer pink and the juices run clear, then carefully pour off drippings. Sprinkle cheese over the top and broil 3-4 inches from heat source for 3-5 minutes, or until top is lightly browned, then sprinkle with green onions. Cut into 4 big servings.
For the grill, press it into the same pan in which the onions were sauteed and let it sizzle away. I have no idea how long I kept it on the grill because I was hanging out with Jimmy in our bar downstairs. HA! So just grill it with the lid down and, like you would a large burger, check on it periodically until it looks mostly done and has some nice char on the bottom.
Cut the meatloaf into pieces wide enough to flip and cook on the other side. Mine ended up approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Because I was…ahem…multi-tasking, I flipped all the pieces then simply shut the grill off and went on about my life. When you’ve decided it’s done to your liking, remove from the grill and serve.
This would be fabulous with a slice of Pepper Jack cheese melted over it! Or for a breakfast variation, how about an over-easy egg sitting prettily on the top?
Or how about a slice of Colby Jack, some grilled onion strings and on a bun? YUM!
Or simply with ketchup. Or without, since I’m out. 😀
Whatever way you eat it, it’s bound to be good! Give it a try this weekend, and give me a shout out if you tried a different variation. 🙂