There was a bunch of ground beef in my fridge that needed to be cooked up or tossed into the freezer. It’s been kind of cold as of late, so comfort food was kind of priority number one a week ago or so. I found out a few years ago that hubby loves meatloaf. It was something he never got as a child — his mother just never made it. I don’t know if she didn’t like it or maybe his dad didn’t like it, but hubby had just never experienced it. It was practically a staple food in our home, when I was growing up.
So the first time I made it was an experiment. When he took his first bite, I held my breath because I really feel that meatloaf is one of those “love or hate” dishes. He loved it. So ever since then, I’ve been trying to find new and exciting ways to jazz up this comfort dish. This time around, I originally wanted to do something with beef and teriyaki, but realized I had no teriyaki sauce (I usually have a jar of it around). I had no eggs (they had just expired), so I was thinking that I could get moisture and binding from something sticky. I started hunting around for something else sweet and stumbled across the bottle of maple syrup. Here’s what I did with it…
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 packages Stove Top Stuffing – whatever flavour you have (I had turkey); this replaces breadcrumbs or oats
- 4-5 dashes Worchestershire sauce
- 1/2 C light cream – you could use milk, too
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 4-5 pieces cooked bacon, chopped up
- 1/4 C diced onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic (1-2 cloves, minced)
- 2 pinches black pepper
- 1 pinch salt – I used kosher salt; don’t need a lot because of the stuffing mix
- 3 Tbsp barbecue sauce – your favourite, I used Bullseye Guinness
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet in foil for easy clean-up later — trust me, the glaze makes a MESS! Spray the foil with some cooking spray for good measure.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the meatloaf ingredients until everything is well blended.
- Place the meat mixture on the baking sheet and form this into a log-shape. Cover with foil.
- Bake this for 40 minutes.
- Pull out of the oven and remove the foil. Brush the glaze over the meatloaf evenly. If it’s runny, feel free to evenly pour it on, brushing some onto the parts it doesn’t quite coat.
- Bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes or until the meatloaf’s internal temperature is at least 160-165F. (I usually put the meat thermometer in it when I put it back in the oven.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes, then carefully transfer to a cutting board or serving plate and carving into thick slices. Serve with potatoes and your favourite veggie.
The meatloaf will have a sweet taste to it and is remarkably moist. Alternatively, you could just bake the meatloaf without the glaze (still pulling the foil off for the last 20 minutes) and you could cook the glaze on the stove until it thickens/reduces a bit and serve it over each served slice when plating. There are a few options. You could omit the maple syrup and just use eggs for the binder if you don’t want the meatloaf to be so sweet or simply cut back on how much you use. The great thing about meatloaf is that it is versatile and you can do so much with it. Experiment and figure out how you can jazz up yours!! It doesn’t have to be the “same ol’, same ol”. 🙂