I'm still not entirely sure how the rest of the recipe makes it so damn tender. I didn't have to follow their machinations specific to just-beef meatloaf, so I'm sure part of it is using the meat mixture. The recipe calls for a ton of thyme and my own addition was marjoram. I used matzo meal instead of Saltine crumbs, and we were out of celery so I threw in a pinch of celery seed. The glaze was made with the very last jar of Lillian's Own Ketchup, which I still had leftover from a couple of years ago (don't tell the USDA!). I really will have to make more this year--it was sublime.
|3||ounces Monterey Jack cheese , grated on small holes of box grater (about 1 cup)|
|1||tablespoon unsalted butter|
|1||medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)|
|1||medium rib celery , chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)|
|1||medium clove garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)|
|2||teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves|
|1/4||cup tomato juice|
|1/2||cup low-sodium chicken broth|
|1/2||teaspoon unflavored gelatin (powdered)|
|1||tablespoon soy sauce|
|1||teaspoon Dijon mustard|
|2/3||cup crushed saltine crackers|
|2||tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves|
|3/4||teaspoon table salt|
|1/2||teaspoon ground black pepper|
|1||pound ground sirloin|
|1||pound ground beef chuck|
|1||teaspoon hot pepper sauce|
|1/2||teaspoon ground coriander|
|1/4||cup cider vinegar|
|3||tablespoons packed light brown sugar|
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cheese on plate and place in freezer until ready to use. Prepare baking sheet (see illustration below).
Heat butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming; add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and add tomato juice. Cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits from pan, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside to cool.
Whisk broth and eggs in large bowl until combined. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, mustard, saltines, parsley, salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Crumble frozen cheese into coarse powder and sprinkle over mixture. Add ground beef; mix gently with hands until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Transfer meat to foil rectangle and shape into 10 by 6-inch oval about 2 inches high. Smooth top and edges of meat loaf with moistened spatula. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 135 to 140 degrees, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and turn on broiler.
While meat loaf cooks, combine ingredients for glaze in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Spread half of glaze evenly over cooked meat loaf with rubber spatula; place under broiler and cook until glaze bubbles and begins to brown at edges, about 5 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and spread evenly with remaining glaze; place back under broiler and cook until glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Let meat loaf cool about 20 minutes before slicing.