We're officially in the dog days of summer. The heat is insurmountable, our clothes are sticky with sweat and going to the beach or pool is pretty much the only thought that crosses our minds. But even when temps reach 90 degrees, making dinner is still an obstacle that plagues us all. When you need something easy and filling, there is one unsung hero that has been saving the day for generations: meatloaf.
When you think about what to serve for dinner during summer you probably consider pasta salad, ceviche and other cold dishes. But classic childhood meals like meatloaf are not to be overlooked, especially if you have central A/C. But don't feel like you have to stay true to your grandma's recipe every time you cook the dish; there are plenty of ways you can upgrade meatloaf, like this recipe that gives the meal a summertime twist.
Typically meatloaf is made with ketchup, which keeps the beef moist while baking. This recipe omits the sweet and tangy condiment and uses fresh summer tomatoes instead. The tomatoes are sliced and added to the middle and top of the beef mixture, giving it a welcome sweetness and a dose of vitamins. The tomatoes will release water and add moisture to the meatloaf while it bakes, but if you find that the beef mixture is dry you can always add a squirt of ketchup and a dash of Worcestershire sauce before baking.
Recipe courtesy of Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.
- 2 pounds ground beef (93% lean or leaner)
- 2/3 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup savory herb stuffing mix
- 2 large sliced tomatoes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2: Line rack on broiler pan with aluminum foil.
Step 3: Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs and pepper in medium mixing bowl, mixing gently but thoroughly.
Step 4: Shape half of beef mixture into 8 by 4-1/2-inch loaf on prepared rack.
Step 5: Top beef with stuffing mix and half the tomatoes; gently pressing into beef.
Step 6: Top with remaining beef mixture, pressing to completely cover stuffing and tomatoes.
Step 7: Seal edges of meatloaf.
Step 8: Top meatloaf with remaining tomato slices.
Step 9: Bake uncovered in 350°F oven 1-1/2 hours or until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 155°F.
Step 10: Turn broiler to high.
Step 11: Broil meatloaf for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are caramelized and instant-read thermometer registers 160°F.
Step 12: Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
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