Today we are fortunate enough to have Susie Cover back with us here at the Family Kitchen. Susie is the founder of Susie’s Supper Club, a Manhattan-based prepared-foods delivery service known for kid-friendly dishes made with organic, locally grown ingredients. She is also a former caterer and private chef, and a mother of two. Susie has a new cookbook, The Supper Club: Kid-friendly meals the whole family will love. Susie’s sharing her amazing little mini meatloaves today. Take it away Susie.
I am slightly obsessed with making classic recipes and shrinking them into a mini version. I think it makes for a fun presentation and also for kids it makes things easy to eat and pleasing to the eye. Such is the case with the mini meatloaves. These can be made with beef or turkey and also with or without bacon.
One of the key ingredients is the homemade ketchup. Don’t run for the hills- it is really easy. The ketchup can also be kept for several months in the refrigerator and is great for our mini burgers or chicken Milanese. It as always so much better to have something you made yourself than store bought- so take a little time and try it. When you are making the meatloaves be sure and pre-cook the bacon a bit so it gets crispy on the top. If you are using turkey use the mix of dark and white meat- it makes them juicier.
For the fancier types you can buy really cute mini loaf pans at you local baking supply shop for a more “formed” meatloaf. Make sure they are non-stick.
This recipe is an old fashioned favorite and also perfect for the lunchbox as they are or sliced in a sandwich. Get ready for back to school!
Mini Meat Loaves
Here is another recipe in which we take a mainstream dish and make it miniature. These little loaves are downright pick-up-able—a happy thing, because that makes it easy to dip them in ketchup. And because they taste delicious at room temperature, they are perfect to pack for a school lunch or picnic. Free form the size as you like and use grass-fed beef or all-natural turkey whenever possible.
1/2 cup (3/4 oz/25 g) panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) whole milk
3/4 lb (375 g) ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) ketchup, homemade (below) or your favorite store-bought, plus more for serving
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Put 1/4 cup (1⁄3 oz/10 g) of the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add the milk and let soak until the crumbs have absorbed the milk completely, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, the remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs, the ketchup, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, mix gently just until well combined. Do not over-mix or the meat loaves will be tough.
3. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the beef mixture into 12 mini loaves each about 3 inches (8 cm) long, 2 inches (5 cm) wide, and 11/4 inches (3 cm) high and arrange on the prepared pan 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) apart. Or, you can divide the meat mixture into 4–6 equal portions, and pack each portion into a nonstick mini loaf pan.
4. If baking freestanding loaves, bake until the bottoms are browned, 20–25 minutes. If using loaf pans, bake until a meat thermometer registers 160°F (71°C) inserted in the center of the loaf, about 25 minutes. Unmold the loaves, if necessary, and serve. Pass additional ketchup at the table.
Makes 3 1/2 cups (28 oz/875 g)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz/875 g) plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juices
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup (7 oz/220 g) firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) cider vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and crush with a fork to release the flavor. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and stir to mix well.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour. Stir more often at the end of cooking to prevent scorching.
3. Let cool slightly, then transfer the ketchup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and the flavors have developed, about 2 hours, before using. The ketchup will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks.
For more great recipes like this one from Susie Cover, check out her new cookbook, The Supper Club: Kid-friendly meals the whole family will love.