Mini Meatloaf with Russett Cheddar Mashed Potatoes


15826793_10208123935069328_5613085375040848871_n.jpgHappy New Year!

I know, I know. I went almost three months without blogging. Believe me–I have not gone all this time without cooking, but I haven’t had a minute to write, and I am sorry! Around this time last year I started this blog, and it was my resolution then to share my recipes with the world. I want to continue that promise to you.

Now I’ve spoken with a few friends of mine, and they have suggested I do a video demonstration as well–this may be in the future! If you have any food requests/techniques you would like to be explained, particularly in video format, let me know.

I made so many meals since I’ve last blogged, and I wasn’t sure where to begin, so what I decided to do was to just post what I made tonight. It’s a top 10 for my husband; it’s a secret family recipe that I have modified. It’s also now freezing cold, and now that Christmas is over, people are using their ovens for comfort foods and not for cookies.

Now if you are a resolutionist, by all means, you can still make this. I made this in a miniature format so that you can have tasty, indulgent meal without the guilt. It is portioned appropriately. If you’re not dieting, then go for seconds and enjoy its cute presentation.

I love meatloaf; it is reminiscent of my childhood for sure. I also think of Wedding Crashers when Will Ferrell screams, “Ma! The meatloaf!” I am pretty sure I said the same thing because it was one of those cult favorites of my own mother. I am convinced that she makes the best! I am sure your mother is some stiff competition, too. 😉

When I first moved out and lived on my own a while back, I wanted to learn how to make my grandmother’s meatballs and my mother’s meatloaf without them. So I asked for recipes…and man, they’re secretive. Once I uncovered the classified information, I was left to my own devices in terms of figuring out how much. Terms like “a bit,” ” a squirt,”, and “a little of that” gave me hardly any help. Luckily, I have an innate sense and a whole lot of dedication to bring you forth the never before disclosed, sworn to secrecy meatloaf. 🙂

The meatloaf is super tasty, moist, and addictive. 

The mashed potatoes I make are delicious and easy. My two best friends for these ‘taters are my slow cooker and my stand mixer.

For everyone that knows me, I make complicated meals. I’ll spend hours to get something right. Shoot, I ground my own chuck this week with bacon and garlic. Cooking is my hobby and not just a necessity. However, time is of the essence, and this recipe is one of those quick meals that can be made that is impressive and elegant enough for one to be fooled into thinking it’s complex and time consuming.

Let’s get started!

First, worry about your potatoes. I use my slow cooker because it makes the potatoes tender, and I can prep them in less than five minutes. No boiling, no peeling (unless you hate skins, but I think they’re tasty and rustic looking), no waiting. If you have a slow cooker that goes to a “warm” setting automatically, that is best, especially if you are trying to do prep before you go to work. You need four hours on high in a slow cooker for these bad boys.

The meatloaf is prepped together in about three minutes and cooks in about 35 minutes. You add a little of this, and a little of that, and that’s it! 🙂

Ingredients for Step One (Slow Cooker Step)

5-6 Russet potatoes (if you like them fluffy, or you may use Yukon Golds or red potatoes, but I recommend Russet)

2 cups of water (you may substitute chicken broth, but it’s not totally necessary)

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder (approximately a tablespoon of each in the slow cooker)

Ingredients for Step Two (Final Mixing Step)

1 cup of half and half, warmed in the microwave (you may substitute whole milk, but the more fat, the better!)

3/4 stick of butter (softened)

1 cup of sour cream

Green onions/chives for garnish (optional!)

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar

Directions for Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooking Procedure

1.) Wash and scrub your potatoes. Leave the skin on (unless you don’t like it, in which you can peel them.) Slice the potatoes in half, then in half again, then cut into small 1 inch pieces.

2.) Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Put all diced potatoes into slow cooker. Throw salt, pepper, and garlic powder all over potatoes. Stir to spread seasoning evenly.

3.) Add 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of water to cover potatoes.

4.) Put your slow cooker on HIGH for four hours, until the potatoes are fork tender. If you are making this all day, try to use a slow cooker that has a warm setting so that it can switch to this setting after cooking.

Stand Mixer Procedure

1.) If you have a stand mixer, grab the mixing bowl that goes with your mixer and scoop out all the potatoes. Put the potatoes in the mixer bowl. Make sure the potatoes are fork tender before doing this step! Alternatively, if you have a hand mixer, you can mix the potatoes right in the slow cooker! 🙂

2.) Microwave a cup of half and half (or milk of your choice) about 30-45 seconds until hot. Soften butter in microwave, in five second intervals, if not already softened.

3.) Throw the butter into the mixing bowl. Crack salt and pepper approximately four times for each seasoning. Being mixing on medium speed for about 20-30 seconds.

4.) Once the half and half is heated, slowly pour in the liquid so the potatoes absorb the liquid. Mix another 20-30 seconds and then stop. Potatoes will be creamy with a few lumps. Do not overmix–potatoes can becoming gummy in texture!

5.) Take your mixing bowl out. Add sour cream, cheddar, and optional green onions/chives. Mix lightly. Keep warm in your slow cooker if not serving right away.

Feel free to add more cheddar on top! 🙂

Ingredients for the Meatloaf 

1 1/2-2 pounds of Beef, Pork, and Veal Ground Meat**

**(I ground my own meat this time; if you have a food grinder and you feel ambitious, grind up 2 pounds of chuck, five slices of bacon, and five garlic cloves).

***You can also just use ground beef, if you so choose, but the mixture of pork and veal helps with moisture.

3 eggs (if you are making less,  say 1/2 pound to a 1 pound of meat, you can use 2 eggs)

1 package of Lipton Onion Soup mix

1/2 cup of ketchup, plus a little more for the “glaze”

1/4 cup of Peter Luger Sauce ****

****–It’s so delicious, but if you can’t find it, here’s a copycat recipe.

Jar of Heinz Au Jus (Beef), or make brown gravy of your choice

1/2 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs

2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Freshly cracked salt and pepper, about three of each

Directions for Meatloaf

1.) Preheat your oven 350 degrees. Take out a baking pan of your choice and spray the inside with cooking spray. I recommend an 8 by 8 for 4 servings, or a 9 by 13 for 6-8 servings.

2.) In a large mixing bowl, hand mix (lightly) the ground meat, eggs, onion soup mix.

3.) Next, squirt in your ketchup, peter luger sauce, and a little of the au jus/brown gravy (about 1/4 of a cup or so). Do not overmix.

4.) Add the seasoned bread crumbs and continue to mix with your hands. The mixture should be moist, but it should be able to take hold of a shape. Add bread crumbs as needed, but this is very moist so do not add too much!

5.) Using your spoon, divide your meat into even portions (4-8, depending on how much you are making). Each mini meatloaf should be approximately a heavy fistful.

6.) On your baking pan, mold the portion of meat between your two hands, making sure it is in the shape of a loaf. Squeeze the side of the mini meatloaf with your hands on the outside and push it inward to mold it properly. Using a flat hand, push down the top of the loaf to make it flat and even. Mold as you feel fit.

7.) Make the rest of the mini meatloaves, giving at least an inch or two of space in between.

8.) Before putting the meatloaves in the oven, make the glaze. Mix about 3-4 squirts of ketchup, two-three tablespoons of brown sugar, and a dash of Peter Luger sauce. Mix together and place on top of the meatloaf. You may use a spoon for this step or you may use a little pastry brush.

9.) Put the mini meatloaves in the oven for approximately 35 minutes.

10.) Enjoy! Scoop out your delicious mashed potatoes and meatloaf on a dish. Garnish with more sliced green onions! 🙂





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