I just created the best paleo meatloaf for dinner.
I started with a recipe I found on Paleo Diet Lifestyle. This is maybe the third meatloaf I have ever made in my life as I'm actually not a big fan of meatloaf in its execution. What I figured out tonight, almost purely by accident, is that it is the breadcrumbs or oatmeal in regular meatloaf that I never liked.
How it all started is a recipe for these nifty meatzzas I saw on here on Polycystic and Primal. Isn't that a cool idea? I definitely want to try those, but it also got my brain thinking about various ways I could fix ground meat. As I said, this is maybe the third meatloaf I've ever done so it took actually seeing ground beef and tomato sauce together to even make me think of making something like that.
Anyhow, I wanted to make it paleo which pretty much just means not using breadcrumbs or another grain as a binding agent. Most paleo meatloaf recipes rely instead on almond flour or almond meal, but the recipe I found relies on mushrooms as a binding agent instead and since it was a chance to incorporate a vegetable I was all for giving it a try. Again, I think instinctively I realized I just don't like the soggy breadcrumb texture in meatloaf.
I looked at what was in the recipe to get an idea of proportions in terms of meat versus mushrooms and then I mainly winged it. I used one pound ground bison and one pound mild italian pork sausage. I used about two cups of the white button mushrooms, finely chopped, that I sauteed into a couple of tablespoons of butter seasoned with garlic salt and onion powder. I ended up mixing about three tablespoons of minced garlic directly into the meat but I could have also sauteed the garlic in with the mushrooms for more flavor. I added the sauteed mushrooms to meat and mushed it all up with sea salt, ground black pepper, more onion powder, maybe two tablespoons of chili garlic lime sauce, a beaten egg, maybe two tablespoons of worcestshire, and about a cup of ketchup (I like Hunt's HFCS free ketchup, it's almost completely real ingredients).
This made for a juicy meat mix. In retrospect, I would've cut back the ketchup to a half a cup, maybe two-thirds. That's what I meant to do in the first place but I accidentally dumped in too much. Word of advice: leave the cap on the ketchup for better portion control.
I poured the meat mix onto a greased cookie sheet and shaped it into an oblong mound. Then, for the piece de resistance I wrapped that sucker in uncured bacon. Om nom nom nom nom. It baked in about a 350-400 degree oven (my oven sucks and always runs too hot) for 30 minutes, then I broiled it for ten minutes until the bacon started to crisp. Once I drained off the extra liquid (twice -- definitely too much ketchup), here's what I had:
As you can see, still too much liquid even after draining. It fell apart into big chunks of meat rather than being slices that held together so while you couldn't make a meatloaf sandwich per se you could make something like a sloppy joe with the leftovers. I ended up draining it off three times. Although a lot of that could have also been from the fat from the meat so think of all the extraneous calories that went with it instead of into my tummy.
Wow -- it tasted good. With using the italian sausage I could have also skipped the chili garlic sauce, it definitely had a nice spice to it. Huge change from the bland, mushy from the breadcrumb meatloaves I've had in the past. It would be really good to have basted the top before broiling with some additional ketchup to make a nice glaze. Maybe I'll do that the next time.
And there will be a next time. Ohhhhh yeah.