The recipe is adapted from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen’s “Tomato glazed meatloaves with brown butter mashed potatoes“; I’ve changed things up a bit by mixing different meats for the meatballs, and served them with zucchini “noodles”; I’ve also doubled the quantity of the glaze. The results? A wholesome and hearty meal…a bit nostalgic..a perfect Sunday evening dinner.
Glaze: 6 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 cup tomato paste, 4 Tablespoons cider vinegar, 3 teaspoons honey, 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, kosher salt to taste (**I’ve doubled most of the ingredients from the original recipe, we love sauce!)
2 slices sandwich bread (I’ve used approximately 2 ounces of organic bread crumbs), 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1 medium onion (finely chopped), 1 medium stalk celery (finely chopped), 1 medium carrot (peeled and finely chopped), olive oil (for cooking), 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for vegetables, freshly ground black pepper, 1 pound extra lean ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, 1/2 pound ground veal, 1 to 2 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup milk (I’ve used almond milk), 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, 2 large eggs
To make the glaze: Combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, let it simmer and whisk constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, set aside.
To make the meatballs:
– Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
– Tear the bread into chunks then blend it, in a food processor, into breadcrumbs. Place breadcrumbs into large bowl.
– Add onion, garlic, celery and carrot to the food processor, pulse it until they are finely chopped.
– Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, coat the bottom with olive oil, heat for a minute then add the finely chopped vegetables. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring frequently until they begin to brown (not burn), about 10 to 15 minutes.
– Add the cooked vegetables to large bowl with bread crumbs, then add the remaining ingredients. Hand mix the ingredients together, then form the mixture into twelve 3-inch meatballs, each will weigh about 4 ounces.
– Space the meatballs in a baking dish so they are not touching. Drizzle or brush each meatball with a teaspoon or so of the tomato glaze.
– Bake the meatballs until cooked through, for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. By using an instant thermometer inserted into the centre of the meatball, a cooked meatball will register 160 to 165 degrees.
– Adjust the oven temperature to 400 degrees and let the meatballs “brown” for approximately 5 minutes
– To serve: Serve with remaining glaze on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and zucchini “noodles” on the side.
***Ms. Deb Perelman served the meatballs with her brown butter mashed potatoes; I’ve made my own version with way less butter, almond milk (instead of buttermilk) and added garlic. Recipe for the simple zucchini noodles posted separately.
Notes: Always remember to cook ground meats thoroughly! I opted to “brown” the meatballs for an extra 5 minutes and it was a perfect finish. Adjust the breadcrumbs and quantity of milk according to need, the meatloaf mixture should feel “moist”, not runny; adjust the seasoning according to your taste and dietary needs. Enjoy!