I grew up in a blue-collar family, and meatloaf was a staple. Actually, it was a favorite staple – I loved it. I would ask for it if we hadn’t had it in awhile. Is that weird?
Either way, when I became an adult, I took several meatloaf recipes with me, and tweaked my favorite to become perfectly tailored to my taste. There was one problem…
Making meatloaf was annoying, because it had to bake for an hour.
That may not seem like a long time – and it’s not – but when you get off work, get to the gym, then make dinner, you want dinner ready in LESS THAN an hour, from start to finish. I found myself not eating meatloaf as often as I wanted.
That is, until my then-boyfriend (now-husband) invented meatloaf pie.
“Meatloaf pie” is a deceptive name, because there’s no crust. Instead, the regular meatloaf is just shaped into a flat, pie shape instead of being shaped into a loaf shape. We cook it in our cast iron pan the way you would Shepard’s Pie or Chicken Pot Pie and….
IT ONLY HAS TO BAKE FOR 30 MINUTES.
BEST WEEKNIGHT DINNER EVER.
It gets better…
Bonus? If your meatloaf is flat, like a pie, you can cut fun shapes out of it for holidays. Like a dead guy for Halloween, or a heart for Valentine’s Day.
Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday this year, and ain’t nobody got time for that, I made meatloaf, and cut our first pieces into heart shapes.
It was cute.
Also, I don’t have kids yet, but I’ll bet your kids would love this idea.
I imagine that you can apply this “meatloaf pie” technique to any meatloaf recipe, but I’ll share my own for your convenience. Personally, I think it’s pretty great.
- 2 tsp oil (PLEASE DON’T USE VEGETABLE OIL)
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 c. minced, fresh parsley
- 1 1/3 c. fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (okay, I use closer to 1 tsp, but I LOVE black pepper)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground beef (Not a fan of pork? Just use 2 lbs ground beef).
- 1/2 c. ketchup (I don’t buy ketchup from the store, so I make this lady’s recipe when needed).
- 4 tbsp brown sugar or other sweetener
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar.
As a note, I RARELY make the glaze. I find it a little too sweet and I don’t usually have ketchup on hand, so it’s a pain. My husband likes the glaze though, so I do make it on occasion. Also, if you make a Halloween meatloaf, the glaze can be the “blood”….
- Preheat oven to 350
- Saute onions & garlic in oil
- Mix eggs, thyme, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and milk
- Add meat and everything else. Mix well, until everything is blended and looks meatloaf-y.
- Press mixture into bottom of cast iron pan. You can use a 10″ or a 12″ – it doesn’t really matter.
- Brush with half of glaze (if using)
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until meat reaches 160 degrees F
- Meanwhile, simmer remaining glaze (if using) until thick.
- Cut into fun shapes and/or drizzle with glaze.
This meatloaf is truly delicious. In fact, it’s so tasty that if you don’t get the pan put away right away, this might happen.
(Don’t worry, we didn’t let her lick very much of it. We actually store our cast iron pans in the oven to prevent this from happening).