Not your mother's meatloaf

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
So we had a ton of ground beef in our fridge and after a few thoughts of what to make with it, I found a recipe for spicy meatloaf in a book called "Nourishing Traditions". Meatloaf had such a connotation for being some slop thrown together in a pan, but I find it really satisfying. And with the spicy twist on it, I was intrigued.

Also, if you have the time and really enjoy learning about REAL food and what's wrong with American thinking on food today, then you'll like this book. It comes loaded with recipes and all kinds of side stories and facts with the truth about food.

Here is a problem I ran into when trying this recipe, as I always have problems when trying just about anything. I misread the recipe and decided to use plain dry bread crumbs thinking they would suffice, but when given time to soak, they didn't work out so well. You're supposed to soak them in 1 cup of cream, but if I'd have used real bread crumbs I think they would have absorbed the liquid much better. Instead, what I got was hard clumps of crumbs and a bunch of dry crumbs untouched by liquid. Although I was minorly set back, I decided to keep going hoping liquid from other places would make up for it. So throughout the mixing process I tried to smoosh as many large clumps as I could without making too much work for myself. So there were clumps throughout the meat but, I actually loved those parts in the end. While you're eating it, you get a taste of meatloaf along with what tasted like Thanksgiving stuffing, so it was interesting and very good.

One thing I need to note, though, is the spicy aspect of the recipe. Yeah you're putting chili powder, thyme, and a good amount of pepper in, but it's really not at all overwhelming. In fact I thought it was a subtle undertone just giving your average meatloaf a slight variation. Unfortunately, one member of my family, *cough cough* my dad *cough cough*, went into dramatics about how spicy he found it to be. Do not take his word for it. He is a pretty picky eater when it comes to anything I make. And the fact that it came from a health food book, made it all the worse.

I thought this was a fairly simple and straight forward recipe and you get fantastic results. You can make it, put it in the oven, and walk away for a while, and then it will be all ready for you to eat. My only issue is I always second guess myself throughout the cooking process. I liked how instead of your traditional meatloaf pan shape, this recipe calls for a 9 x 13 dish. That gives your more surface area for spreading the ketchup, which is nice.

Spicy Meatloaf
from "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon

serves 8??

2 pounds ground beef or other red meat
1/2 pound ground heart, optional (yeah I don't know where you'd get that)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (I used chili powder)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole grain bread crumbs
1 cup cream (I used whipping cream)
1 egg
1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional (I didn't have it)
4 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup

Saute onions, carrots, and celery in butter until soft.

(^This tasted so good!)

Add chili flakes, thyme, pepper, and salt and stir around. Meanwhile, soak bread crumbs in cream.
Have a 9-inch by 13-inch pyrex pan ready. Using your hands, mix meat with sauteed vegetables, soaked bread, egg, and optional fish sauce. Form into a loaf and set in pan. Ice with ketchup or tomato paste. Add about 1 cup of water to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.

I liked a bit more ketchup than they suggested. You can also serve it with mashed potatoes or a vegetable to complete your meal.


  1. WendyWiz said...:

    I was recently served this meatloaf by a friend's in-law and thought it was outstanding. Rich taste and texture. I have been looking for the recipe (I'd misplaced my copy) and am thrilled to see it here on your site. I'm planning it for tonight's dinner. Thanks for putting it online, and properly crediting it. Now, I can find the book and try some of the other recipes that were recommended to me.

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