Beef! Beef! Beef! You’ve come to know it as mom’s most secret weapon. She thought of it as a lifesaver. It is easy to prepare, it can stretch all week and can feed an entire family and still have leftovers. Slathered with piles of ketchup or beef gravy, it became a God in my house. What am I referring to? The almighty meatloaf! As American as apple pie, the meatloaf was voted the seventh most favorite dish in the United States by Good Housekeeping website in 2007.

Like a giant hamburger shaped in a loaf and baked, over the last 100 or so years it has gone through many metamorphoses. No longer are we subjected to using plain ol’ beef like our mothers and their mothers used. Today we have different options: lamb, pork, veal, venison, turkey or any combination of them. Some people use different additives such as breadcrumbs and eggs as binders, fresh herbs and vegetables like peppers, onions and parsley or simply encased in a sleeve of bacon slices. The options are endless!

The Food Network’s Sunny Anderson introduces us to a fun and modern take on mom’s dish. No more gorging on huge slices of meatloaf; this recipe is portion controlled and loaded with tons of flavor that explode with each and every bite you take.

Ladies, meet your new hero: Mini Skillet Meat Loaves

Mini Skillet Meatloaves

1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix (ground beef, pork and/or veal)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup ketchup
1 to 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Mix the breadcrumbs, milk, parsley, egg, Worcestershire sauce, onion, chili powder and garlic in a large bowl. Add the meat, season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands until combined. Shape into six 3-to-4-inch oval loaves.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the loaves and brown about 3 minutes per side.

Whisk the ketchup, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and brush a few tablespoonfuls over the meat. Add 1/2 cup water to the skillet, cover and simmer over low heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the loaves to a plate. Add the remaining ketchup mixture to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, until thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve 4 meatloaves with the hot glaze, reserving 2 for quesadillas.

Per serving: Calories 380; Fat 24 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 111 mg; Sodium 800 mg; Carbohydrate 16 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 23 g

Recipe is courtesy of Sunny Anderson/The Food Network.

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