Monday, August 10, 2009

The Ultimate Sweet & Sour Meatloaf

Okay, so I must admit, after just having seen Julie & Julia last night (very good movie), I am re-inspired to continue my quest to post my collected recipes on my blog. Most notably, I'd like to finally share the Ultimate Meatloaf recipe that I came up with a couple weeks back.

So basically, I was kinda stuck for dinner one Friday night, and I decided I was going to just eat at home and try to invite whoever I could over (I ended up not finding anyone, so more meatloaf for me!). I was also in the mood for a ground beef dish, but I find meatballs very time-consuming (I am picky about the shape). So, I decided to try my hand at meatloaf (another first for me) - something that growing up I was never a huge fan of because it was often dry and flavorless.

I decided to construct the meatloaf in two layers: the first layer being the meat, which I wanted to be very savory and flavorful, yet moist and juicy. The second layer would be the glaze, which I had scribbled down in my cooking notebook over a year ago as an idea to try out - an applesauce-based glaze. I wanted to take this a step further and turn it into a bit of a sweet-and-sour glaze, so I added some cider vinegar and teriyaki sauce.

It came out ridiculously well, but I want to stress one thing. There was one flavor in the meat that absolutely made all the difference: the Chinese five-spice powder. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT IN THE RECIPE (maybe besides the beef), DO NOT SKIP IT!!! I cannot stress this enough. In the past few months I have been learning the ways of Chinese five-spice, and I have concluded that it is amazing with ground beef (my meatballs on Purim were also a testament to that - but alas, I didn't write down the recipe!). If you don't have any, it is incredibly worth your while to go out and get some (sometimes hard to find - I only found Fairway carried it, but I am certain you can find it online easily). It gives this complex flavor of cumin and a hint of anise (licorice) that makes you go, "ooh, hmm!" on every bite.

Okay, okay, enough of plugging the spices. On to the recipe!

The best meatloaf I have ever tasted.

The Ultimate Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

For meatloaf:

2 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. parlsey
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1/4 tsp ginger
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts (you can add up to 8 oz. if you wish)
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt (at least 2-3 heavy pinches)

For glaze:

1/2 cup applesauce (preferably unsweetened)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. teriyaki sauce

1. Combine all meatloaf ingredients and mix very well.

2. Transfer to a loaf pan (or other baking vessel) and pack well. Smooth off the top.

3. Combine glaze ingredients well and spoon evenly onto top of meatloaf.

4. Bake at 350 for 1 hr 30 min or till meat reaches 160 F. Please, use a meat thermometer on this if you have one available.

5. After it's done, allow it to rest at least 10 minutes before serving. If desired, pour off excess fat (carefully please!)

Serves 10-12. Depends how you cut it really.


  1. This sounds like a delicious meatloaf. We love different flavors in our meatloaves so this will probably be a success.

  2. enjoy it! i've had several friends make this recipe and they all report it as a huge success!