When I was a kid, the thought of meatloaf was enough to make me gag. If, in answer to the question "what's for dinner?", my mother's answer was meatloaf, my brother and I would run in to the other room making nasty faces. I have grown up to love meatloaf. Sorry mom.
Sometime during this period of growing up, I discovered this wonderfully different meatloaf recipe. I don't remember the source, but I suspect it was a magazine. I didn't take a photo because meatloaf just doesn't photograph well. It looks kind of gross. I'll spare you.
1-2 TBSP oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced (and I do mean small dice)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup breadcrumbs (I use Progresso with Italian seasoning)
1/4 cup milk
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin (this is the secret ingredient)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp nutmeg (this is the other secret ingredient)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Saute all the vegetables in the oil until tender. Cool. Add the garlic. In a large bowl, mix the meat, ketchup, eggs, bread crumbs, Worcestershire and spices. Add the cooked vegetables. Place in large loaf pan. Bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. It will hold together better on the second day.