A Southern Grace: grounded for life

September 8, 2015

grounded for life


Should I invest in a meat grinder? I'm considering it.

I'm a big fan of a)ground meat, and b)knowing exactly what goes into my ground meat. I'm just not sure that I would use it frequently enough to justify spending money on one. Also, I would not relish cleaning it.

As applications for ground meat go, burgers are high on the list, and so are chili, sloppy joes, meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and meatloaf. The beauty of these recipes is that any type of meat works pretty much equally as well as another, so they're adaptable to what you have on hand. This day, I had chicken and wanted to make (and consume) meatloaf, so a chicken loaf was born.

I often change up the herbs I put into this dish, and the mixture usually includes both dry and fresh selections. I went with dried rosemary and fresh basil this time, mostly because I like chicken and rosemary together and am currently so obsessed with fresh basil that I'm putting it in every feasible (and sometimes unfeasible) place I can find.

This was an excellent meatloaf! It was properly herbaceous and as moist as it could possibly be without threatening to fall apart. It must be said that I don't think I'll ever use another cooking method after discovering the one described here, in which the raw loaf is broiled to brown the top and some of the glaze, and then baked the rest of the way at a normal temperature. The crust that develops under the broiler is just outstanding and the thick glaze doesn't slide off onto the pan like a thinner, much more inferior version.

I love burgers, but a meatloaf as delicious as this one makes me seriously consider calling it my favorite recipe using ground meat (and it's also a point in favor of buying a grinder!).

Loaf of Chicken
(printable recipe)
Serves 6-8
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus extra as needed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
Make the glaze first by whisking the ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Reserve 1/4 cup glaze mixture, then simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, then add the onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper together.
Mix the meat, crumbs, basil, sautéed onion mixture, and egg mixture until evenly blended and the mixture doesn’t stick to the bowl. If the mixture sticks, add additional milk, a splash at a time, until it no longer sticks.
Adjust oven racks to upper (about 4 inches away from broiler element) and middle positions and heat broiler. Transfer meat mixture to prepared baking sheet and shape into 9- by 5-inch loaf. Broil on upper rack until well browned, about 5 minutes. Brush 2 tablespoons uncooked glaze over top and sides of loaf and then return to oven and broil until glaze begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
Transfer meatloaf to middle rack and brush with remaining uncooked glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until meat loaf registers 160 degrees F, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to carving board, tent with foil and let rest 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve.


cali @ cali's cuisine said...

I vote YES to the meat grinder. I purchased one in the last six months and LOVE it because I know it is 100% muscle that goes into it and not mechanically deboned junk. It has better flavor and texture and cleanup is easier than you would think. Take the plunge!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

You definitely should! ;-) That meatloaf must taste really good.



Unknown said...

Definitely Yes! And this is because there are also sausages out there that are waiting to come into this world through your graceful hands!

lisa is cooking said...

Broiling the glaze is a great idea! And, you make a very good point about how owning a meat grinder would mean having to clean it. A self-cleaning tool would be ideal.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Husband gets fairly tired of chicken recipes, but this.... This one would make him happy, and I can still have chicken!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I've often wondered if I should get a mincer too. And unsuitable places to put basil? Do tell! :P

Alicia Foodycat said...

Definitely get one. They are honestly not as hard to clean as you would think. Much easier than a juicer, for example. We had a manual one, but then I got a mincer and sausage stuffer attachment for my stand mixer and it is one of my favourite things in the world.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

My husband wants one, also he wants to make his own sausage. Delicious looking meatloaf.

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

Grace, you could try your food processor - before I got the meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer it worked pretty well! And love the meatloaf!!

I Wilkerson said...

I totally want a meat grinder. Besides knowing where your ground meat "has been," charcuterie is soooo "in" now. I get my meat right from the farmer and occasionally I end up with a weird cut of roast that I know was really meant to go into sausage...

My challenge, however, is picking out a meat grinder. I have an off brand mixer so no option of just buying the kitchen aid attachment (I did buy the attachment for mine but it didn't work well). So if you go forward with this, please let us know what you pick. Hey maybe some nice vendor will supply you with one now!

Angie's Recipes said...

My husband loves ground meat too, actually that's probably the only meat he enjoys. Well, I do have a meat grinder, but hardly use it because you can't just grind a small portion.
Your meatloaf looks very delicious, Grace.

Barbara said...

I'm smiling because my mother gave me her (really) old hand meat grinder....many years ago. You clamped it on the counter. Let me tell you, it was a stinker to clean. You are so right about that. I finally got rid of it when the last of my kids went off on his own. Debated many times getting the grinder attachment that comes with the mixer, but never did. I just ask the butcher to do it now! :)
Love your chicken loaf....and the glaze. Totally yummy and reminds me of a ham loaf glaze I used to have a recipe for, and lost.
Men do love their meat loaf, that's for sure!

Food Gal said...

I like the chicken loaf. Not so heavy and oily as pork-beef-veal ones. Sounds like a perfect way to indulge your meatloaf appetite in summer, too.

Pam said...

My folks had a meat grinder when I was a kid, they loved it.

I've never made chicken loaf before, only turkey & beef. This looks simple and tasty. Love the glaze.

Tennessee Stone & Design said...

This looks very good and interesting. Never been a meatloaf fan but this definitely looks really good to me. Thank you for this! Will have to try.

Marcela said...

I used to have one, back in Poland! It was fun! :)