The mighty meatloaf is a classic comfort food and a quintessential staple in many homes. Meatloaf is a popular go-to for many reasons–it’s an old family tradition, a means to use up leftover ground meat, or even a method of filling up while saving money. But it also often gets a pretty bad rap. Some people find meatloaf to be a dull, boring dish–most likely because of poor past experiences with bland or dry versions of it. But if you can master the meatloaf–transforming it from mundane to marvelous–you can master just about any other culinary dish.
Today’s recipe features a unique, cheese stuffed meatloaf which I invented about a year ago when I had a craving for meatloaf with cheese. Rather than just sprinkle shredded cheese or lay sliced cheese over the top, I decided to do something a little different by stuffing it down the center. This way, I could put it in as I was prepping it and not have to worry about cheese on top getting burned or having to remove the meatloaf to add the cheese later. The result was a flavorful, moist loaf of meat and one of our family’s top favorite menu items. And the best part is that I made it using all real food ingredients (including homemade ketchup).
For the meatloaf pictured, I used cheddar cheese because that is what I happened to have on hand at the time. However, just about any cheese goes awesome with this recipe. Try Parmesan, pepper jack, mozzarella, muenster, feta, or even Gruyere to make it extra fancy. You could also do a blend consisting of more that one kind of cheese.
This meatloaf goes awesome with a side of warm mashed potatoes and gravy, a simple tossed salad with lettuce and dressing, hot rolls and butter, and/or fresh steamed or roasted veggies.
If you have any leftover meatloaf, you can just reheat it and eat it as you might other leftovers. Or you can transform it into a sandwich as is commonly done to leftover meatloaf.
Unfortunately, this recipe does not freeze too well (neither uncooked nor cooked). It gets mushy, crumbly, and quite unappetizing when thawed.
- 3/4 c. ketchup (I prefer homemade)
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. molasses
- 1 c. cheese (any kind), shredded
- 1 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 tsp. dried dill
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground sausage
- 1 c. old fashioned (slow cook) oats
- 1/3 c. heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 or 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp. dried mustard
- 1 tsp. Real Salt
- 3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 3 tbsp. fresh parsely, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line the inside bottom and sides of a loaf pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil; set aside. Place a flat cooling rack on a cookie sheet and grease it and the cookie sheet; set aside.
Mix together all of the glaze ingredients; set aside.
Mix together all of the filling ingredients; set aside.
Mix together the hamburger, sausage, oats, and cream. Set aside.
Melt the 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet and saute the shallot until tender. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
Add the onion, garlic, and remaining ingredients to the meat mixture. Using your hands or a spatula, gently (and carefully as the onions and garlic will be hot) mix it together.
Press half of the meatloaf mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan then press an oval-shaped indentation about 3 inches wide down the center of the meat. Spread all of the filling mixture down the center of this indentation. Top with the remaining meat mixture and gently press down.
Invert the loaf pan onto the cooling rack on the sheet pan. Pull off the pan (use the plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help loosen the shaped loaf) then remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Brush half of the glaze over the top of the loaf.
Bake the loaf for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked through (internal temperature should read between 155 and 165). Brush with remaining glaze and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing or serving.
Adapted from Crossover