Glazed All-Beef Meat Loaf

from Bridget Lancaster, Julia Collin Davison

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Serves 6 to 8

If you can’t find chuck and/or sirloin, substitute 85 percent lean ground beef.

meat loaf
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated on the small holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 medium celery rib, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup crushed saltines
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground chuck

1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
˝ teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1. For the meat loaf: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the cheese on a plate and place in the freezer until ready to use. To prepare the baking sheet, set a metal cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Fold a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a 10 by 6-inch rectangle. Center the foil on the cooling rack and poke holes in the foil with a skewer (about half an inch apart). Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming; add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add the tomato juice. Cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk the broth and eggs in a large bowl until combined. Sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, mustard, saltines, parsley, salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Crumble the frozen cheese into a coarse powder and sprinkle over the mixture. Add the ground beef; mix gently with your hands until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Transfer the meat to the foil rectangle and shape into a 10 by 6-inch oval about 2 inches high. Smooth the top and edges of the meat loaf with a moistened spatula. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 135 to 140 degrees, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove the meat loaf from the oven and turn on the broiler.

4. For the glaze: While the meat loaf cooks, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Spread half of the glaze evenly over the cooked meat loaf with a rubber spatula; place under the broiler and cook until the glaze bubbles and begins to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat loaf from the oven and spread evenly with the remaining glaze; place back under the broiler and cook until the glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Let the meat loaf cool about 20 minutes before slicing.