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Meatloaf: Reloaded

My reloaded meatloaf is still made with home-ground beef for the best flavor and texture, but now comes with a revamped tomato-chile-cocoa glaze.
I have always loved meatloaf. My mom made a pretty good version when I was growing up, but she cooked it in a baking dish so there wasn’t nearly enough crusty exterior. And she never glazed her meatloaf the way my friend Stanley’s mom did. But then Stanley’s mom used too many fillers and overcooked hers. Then there was Craig, who lived behind my house. His mom put whole cooked eggs in hers. That just ain’t right. This one here though...just right.
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats: Reloaded.
Good Eats Meatloaf Reloaded with Cocoa Glaze
ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Software

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the chipotles
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Meatloaf

  • 3 cups garlic-flavored crutons
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and broken into a few large pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 18 ounces chuck roast, trimmed of excess gristle and silver skin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 18 ounces sirloin roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large egg

Specialized Hardware

  • Digital kitchen scale
  • Food processor
  • Probe thermometer

Procedure

  • Crank the oven to 325ºF with a rack in the middle. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the ketchup, tomato paste, chipotles, adobo sauce, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and garlic powder together in a small bowl. This is your chipotle glaze. Measure out about 1/4 cup for serving, then reserve the remaining 3/4 cup for brushing on the meatloaf.
  • Load the work bowl of your food processor with the croutons, chili powder, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne (if desired) and pulse to coarse crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic to the food processor bowl and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula about halfway through the process, about 8 one-second pulses. Transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  • In two batches, pulse the chuck and sirloin until it resembles a coarse, medium grind, 10 to 15 one-second pulses. Add the meat to the bowl with the crouton and vegetable mixture, along with the salt, and mix with your hands to combine. Quickly work in the egg.
  • Pack the meat mixture into a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan. Run an offset spatula along the edge of the meatloaf, then turn the meatloaf out onto the prepared sheet pan. Remove the loaf pan. Insert a temperature probe into the top of the loaf at a 45-degree angle, being careful not to push the tip through to the bottom of the pan. Set the thermometer alarm for 155°F and place the pan on the middle rack in the oven.
  • After the meatloaf has been cooking for 15 minutes, slide it out on the rack and quickly brush with the 3/4 cup of the glaze. Return to the oven and cook until the probe alarm sounds at 155°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer. Transfer the meatloaf to a platter and let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving with the remaining glaze for dipping.