Yes, you read that correctly. Meatloaf with apples. Seriously good.
So, you may remember the beginning of the Great Meatloaf Project where I recounted my childhood – scarred by meatloaf and how I was being coerced by certain readers of this blog to give meatloaf another chance. Thankfully by the power vested in caramelized onions, we found a scrumptious meatloaf that I loved.
Well, that experience led others to offer up meatloaf recipes and suggestions….most of which, if I am honest, I ignored. I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested in a meatloaf with a layer of Velveeta Cheese in the middle…as was suggested by my husband.
But in October I met my friend Mike from Milwaukee’s grandma and she told me about her Apple Meatloaf recipe. Grandmas are not to be ignored. Grandma (her name is Helen…I had to ask since everyone calls her Grandma) still cooks at a bar in Milwaukee called the K Ranch. If this recipe is any indication, I think we may have to start a whole special Grandma Helen Kenney section on Idiot’s Kitchen.
This is so good that I had 2 pieces and the leftovers the next day for lunch. Me. The Former Meatloaf Hater.
Here’s what you need:
2 1/2 pounds ground beef (80% lean), apples, eggs, onion, stuffing mix, horseradish, mustard, ketchup, salt & pepper
It is important to buy 80% lean meat. If the meat is any leaner, you will have dry meatloaf. Same goes for meatballs.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Finely chop an onion into very small pieces. Make the slits across the top of the onion as close together as possible. Likewise when you chop the other direction across the onion, make your slices very close together.
This will give you tiny little bits of onion. Put the diced onion in a very large bowl.
Peel 2 apples – I have Granny Smith apples because they are nice and firm and hold up well to cooking. Cut the flesh away from the apple core.
Cut the apple into very small pieces….similar but just slightly bigger than the onion pieces.
Add the apple to the big mixing bowl.
Add 1 1/2 cups of prepared dry stuffing mix to the bowl. I really like the Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing for this recipe.
Lightly beat 3 eggs to break up the yolks and add them to the bowl.
And 3 Tablespoons of Prepared Horseradish
Do you have horseradish? Whoooooboy, that will clear the cats out of the kitchen! It’s a very strong smelling root that has been ground into a paste.
You will find Prepared Horseradish (which is what we want) and also Creamy Horseradish (which we don’t) in your store in the refrigerated section. For some reason, in my store they have it near the sour cream, pre-packaged cheese and tortillas. Don’t ask me why.
Hey, now that you own horseradish, you can make killer cocktail sauce for shrimp OR bloody marys if that’s your thing.
Do not fear the horseradish! It smells strong but use all 3 Tablespoons of it. Trust me.
Add 3/4 cup of ketchup to the mixture
About 2 teaspoons of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
Mix all of these ingredients together very thoroughly. One of the tricks to tender juicy meatloaf (and meatballs) is not to overwork the meat. Therefore, mix everything else together really well before the meat goes in.
Add the meat to the bowl and with your perfectly clean hands, mix it all together.
This is much easier to do if you’re not obsessively taking pictures of your food.
Remember our great broiler pan meatloaf technique?
Grab your broiler pan and pour about a cup of water in the bottom part.
This will create some steam during the baking to help keep the meatloaf moist and from cracking. The pan also catches the grease that cooks off of the meatloaf.
Spray the top of the broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray and form your meatloaf.
Note: this is VERY MOIST meatloaf. Don’t worry if your ingredients feel a little wet. Moist is good. Just grab the blobs of meat and form them together to make a nice looking loaf.
Bake at 350 degrees for 70 -75 minutes. Your delicious meatloaf is done when the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
There are no words to tell you how good this smells when it is baking. And it tastes even better!
There isn’t a huge apple flavor, but all of the ingredients combine to make an amazingly savory and tasty meatloaf. The real glory of the apples is in the moisture that they provide. So tasty and juicy.
Grandmas are the best! Thanks to Grandma Helen Kenney for this great recipe! This fine lady knows her meatloaf!
If you are lucky enough to still have YOUR grandma around, go give her a call. Oh, and get her recipes!
Here’s the recipe: