Mozzarella Stuffed Meatloaf
Hey, y'all! Meatloaf has always been my dad's go-to dish when he's in charge of making dinner. I have to admit it, the man makes a damn good meatloaf. He makes a classic Italian-style meatloaf, with ketchup incorporated into the meat and my name (written in ketchup) on the top. It's always been one of my favorite dishes.
Last weekend, I had my parents over for dinner and decided to play around with his iconic dish. Rather than using just ketchup, I made a sweet, tangy glaze with ketchup and brown-sugar. I've gotta tell you, this dish is crazy good! I love how the glaze caramelizes on the top. It reminds me a lot of my honey garlic meatball recipe. Except for the little surprise inside...mozzarella!
Oh yes, I did! Of course, you could switch up the type of cheese that your little heart desires, but I was in the mozzarella kind of mood. I use slices of mozzarella, simply because that's what I had on hand, but you could use fresh mozzarella or shredded as well. Feel free to ad-lib and go nuts!
Before I begin, I've gotta ask... how do you feel about squishing the meat with your hands? Does it gross you out or are you like, "eh, whatevs?" Personally, I don't mind it one bit however, I always wash my hands like 13 times when I'm making meatloaf or meatballs!
1 pound ground beef 1 cup of bread crumbs or 1/2 cup oatmeal, ground
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed 1 egg 1/2 cup milk 1 cup ketchup 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 1 tsp dried basil 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp dried parsley 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper 8 oz mozzarella (or cheese of your choice) 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs (or oatmeal), milk, egg, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper with your hands.
3. Divide the meat in half. Shape one-half of the meat into the bottom of the loaf. This is a free form meatloaf so it doesn't have to be perfect. I just kind of make a rectangle out of it.
4. Place mozzarella slices down the center, leaving about 1/2 inch around the ends and sides- if you have the cheese too close to the edge it'll ooze out the side.
5. Use the rest of the meat to form the top half of your meatloaf. Pinch the sides together to help seal it.
6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together ketchup, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and brown sugar. Spread half of the mixture over the meatloaf. Save the rest!
7. Bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven and spoon the remaining sauce mixture on the top. Increase the temperature to 400 degrees (to allow for caramelization) and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Isn't it absolutely gorgeous? The cheese just oozes out as you cut into creating a flowing river of yumminess!