Sunday, November 21, 2010

Operation Clean Freezer: Mini Beef Loaves

My sister, Darcie and I have been making these since we were children. I'm not sure where there recipe originated but I'm sure my older sister, Deb was involved somehow. When we were growing up we used to stay with her a lot.

These are a great meal for grown-ups as well as kids. It's a twist on a basic meatloaf recipe but pretty simple and kids can help with the preparation.

Mini Beef Loaves

Makes 8 loaves, serves 4
This recipe doubles easily (just use more muffin tins)

1 pound ground hamburger (get something fairly lean since you don't want a ton of fat pooling in the muffin cups. I used ground buffalo because that's all I use these days in lieu of burger)
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs or finely crushed crackers (I remember using Ritz, but used breadcrumbs when I made these now)
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (fresh onion can be used, but mince fine)
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
mozzarella cheese (all I had were string cheese, but these were nice and easy)
ketchup (I used yummy curry ketchup)

In a bowl mix all ingredients (minus cheese and ketchup) thoroughly. You could use onion soup mix if you'd like instead of all of the spices above. I know there are so many variations of meat loaf. Use whatever you like. Just make sure if you use other veggies that they are minced. The loaves are pretty small.

Take a couple tablespoons (or ping pong ball size) of mixture and pat into each muffin compartments in a muffin tin. I was able to get only 7 because I put more meat in each compartment. Make sure you press the meat up the sides of the compartments and leave a well in the middle for the cheese. Save enough mixture for the tops of the loaves. About a tablespoon or so. It doesn't have to be a lot, but enough to cover.

Place cheese into each compartment before you put the tops on. Seal the top on fairly well although the cheese will bubble out. Cover each loaf with ketchup. In a preheated 350 degree F oven put in the loaves and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until done. Be careful not to over cook so your loaves aren't dried out. No one likes dried out meat loaf either.

Once cooked take a fork and remove from the muffin tin and enjoy while they're hot!

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