Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kirsten's Almost-Famous Mini Meatloaves

By popular demand, this is a recipe for a creation that I made based on looking over a ton of meatloaf recipes and then from that inspiration, creating one of my own for my boyfriend's retro-fabulous 1950's themed surprise birthday party.

I surprised him, invited friends and served pigs-in-a-blanket for appetizers, shrimp cocktail and iceberg-wedge salads for starters and then the meatloaf and a mashed potato gratin for the main course. Dessert was cupcakes and a mini layer cake for the birthday guy.

I make the meatloaves in muffin tins, which I highly recommend because they get done SO much faster and the presentation is much better. They also cook more evenly and you don't end up with a raw middle and burned edges.

Mini Meatloaves:
(serves 6 as a main entree)
1 lb ground chuck (twice ground - ask at the meat counter or do yourself since this makes a difference)
1/2 lb ground veal (again, twice ground)
1/2 lb ground pork (again, twice ground
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (no crusts)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 small onion, minced finely or you can use onion powder or dried onion
1-2 garlic cloves, minced finely or you can use garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tbs dried)
2 tbs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tbs fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tbs dijon mustard
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbs apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients together by hand - incorporate well, but don't over mix. Divide into balls and fill 12 muffin tins with the mixture. Allow mixture to come to room temperature while oven heats to 350 degrees. (This is a great time to serve appetizers or first courses) Bake mini meatloaves for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 2 tbs apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer.

After baking meatloaves for about 20 minutes, spread sauce over loaves and bake for another 5 minutes, until a glaze forms. Remove from oven, serve.

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