Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Perfect Gluten Free Meat Loaf

Let me begin by sharing with all of you the long and winding road I have taken with this recipe. My childhood was one where good meatloaf was always readily available. My mom made a great meatloaf recipe that was kid friendly: no crunchy onions or peppers and not too spicy. I would always ask her to make it and I think she liked that it was a one-bowl preparation and a one-pan cleanup, a huge plus for a working mom. As I grew up I used her recipe and even converted my husband to liking meatloaf. However, once I started eating gluten free foods the quality of my meat loaf went south. I just couldn't find the right substitute for the saltine cracker crumbs that went into the meat loaf. I've tried everything, from tortilla chip crumbs to parmesan cheese to almond crackers. Nothing seemed to do the trick. Many, many meatloafs have been thrown down the disposal after coming out too greasy, or too dry or too tough or too moist. I know, too moist? That's the big problem with meat loaf isn't it? Keeping it moist is a big deal, but sadly it can be too moist. I am pleased to report that after years of trial and error, I have finally recreated a moist and delicious meat loaf reminiscent of my childhood. As much as I am a proponent of using readily available ingredients from a neighborhood grocery store, I have to break with tradition and recommend an internet product. These are Dr. Schar's Bread Crumbs, available from the Gluten Free Mall. I find that when I am ordering things on the internet, I order several to make it worth my while to pay for shipping. Go big or go home is my motto. Anyway, these are a great texture and don't have much of an overpowering flavor to detract from the flavors you are putting in to your meat loaf. They hold the moisture well and keep the meat loaf from being crumbly. This recipe is an easy one-dish dinner, and I always make it even easier by adding some potatoes right into the oven with the meat loaf, so it all cooks at the same time.

Perfect Gluten Free Meat Loaf

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

1/2 cup Dr. Schar's gluten free bread crumbs

1/4 cup Kraft parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 can tomato sauce

2 T minced onion

pinch salt

pinch pepper

pinch garlic powder

1/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and pierce 6-8 potatoes, set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except meat and ketchup until well blended. Add hamburger and mix gently with your hands. (Combining the seasonings and bread crumbs first makes it so you don't overwork your meat and make it tough.) Spread batter into a greased loaf pan and pat down so it's even. Cover top of meat loaf with ketchup and place in oven with potatoes surrounding loaf pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with a spatula and a salad or vegetable.

Happy eating!

2 comments:

  1. I found this recipe last night and made little heart-shaped loaves with ketchup swirled in a heart on each loaf. With no time to hunt down Dr. Schar's bread crumbs, I substituted with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free whole oats, swirled in the food processor. My husband - who rarely gets excited about a meal - raved about this recipe. My kids loved it! This one's a keeper! Thank you!

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  2. Thank you - made this the other night and my husband really liked it. Could you please clarify the size of the can of tomato sauce - I used a 15oz can and it seemed like it was too much. I should have added a little at a time but dumped the whole thing in all at once. Loaf was a little soupy.
    Thanks!
    : )

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