My family has a 100% tried and true meat loaf recipe.
It looks a little like this:
Can you read that? It’s my Grandma Eleanor’s handwriting.
My Mom makes this recipe (Eleanor was her Mom). My Aunt on my Dad’s side makes this recipe. I’m sure my Mom’s other siblings have made it before, too. I love it.
I’ve made it once before, during mashed potato month to very mild success (I forgot the Rice Krispies, a key ingredient, tried to add them like, 10 minutes into baking time, things got weird).
My problem with meatloaf is that a recipe like this, calling for three pounds of meat, makes a huge meatloaf. Which I can’t really eat all by myself. Lisa, in her great wisdom, suggested I try the meatloaf muffin route. They probably freeze quite well, and it would be easy to portion out a few in bags to take out one by one, as opposed to half a meatloaf.
I decided to run with her suggestion. I also decided to halve the recipe, not sure how many muffins 3 pounds of meatloaf would create.
The original recipe calls for 2 pounds of ground hamburger and 1 pound of ground pork. I couldn’t quite find a half a pound of ground pork, so I went with a meat loaf mix. That included pork, ground beef, and ground veal (weird). It was a little under 1.5 lbs, which I think reduced the size of the muffins a touch.
A trusty assistant, Chad, showed up to chop the onion for me. Chad also informed me that his family meat loaf recipe uses oatmeal as a binder, where we use Rice Krispies. Lisa, I think uses bread crumbs? Anyone else out there have an interesting binder they use?
There are no pictures of me mixing up the meat, mostly because I go for the ‘hands on’ approach. I will say, the Rice Krispies do the whole “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” thing while being mixed, and it is funny.
Then I balled the muffins up, starting with a half a cup measuring cup to get the size right, but reduced the amount of meat from there. This is where I would have liked a little more meat to make larger muffins. Chad suggested I press the top of the meat muffins with my thumb, like when we made burgers.
My googling told me a few different cooking times. So we started with 15 minutes at 400. Then we did it in increments of 7 minutes a few times before the muffins hit 160. All told it was closer to 30 minutes. This could be my oven, so I’d def try the incremental approach.
Out of the oven. Half this recipe made 12 small-ish muffins. I think the full three pound recipe would definitely make 24+.
These were stellar. Definitely not overdone, in fact they kind of melted in your mouth. They kind of cooked in the grease more, which I’m sure helped. I will definitely try this avenue again, and maybe use the full 3-pound recipe for some leftovers.