Clean Out the Fridge Meatloaf | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Clean Out the Fridge Meatloaf

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Clean Out the Fridge Meatloaf

Sometimes, at the end of the week, we find ourselves with some ground meat that we have failed to cook. We then scramble to make it into something before it spoils. There is often a little of this and a little of that hanging around as well. This recipe pulls together your random meat and that-which-could-have-become-compost into a nice dinner.

If you don’t have a carrot, no worries. If you would rather throw in some other vegetables, go ahead and toss them in instead. Hate smoked paprika? How about some cayenne pepper? Shallots can stand in for the onion. It’s all very wartime, with a modern twist: Wear a fetching period headscarf while you cook, and perhaps lecture your children about economizing while they download expensive apps.

Servings & Times
  • Serves 4

2 teaspoons neutral oil, such as vegetable oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 teaspoons salt, plus a pinch

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1⁄2 pound mushrooms, preferably cremini but any will do, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

1 1⁄2 pounds ground meat

1 heaping tablespoon smoked paprika

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1⁄2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs (panko is best), plus 1⁄4 cup if needed

1⁄2 cup ketchup


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. 

2. Warm the oil in a medium-sized skillet over low to medium heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt, and sauté until they are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the carrots; cook for another 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they have given off all their liquid and become soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. 

3. Put the skillet ingredients in a large bowl, and add the meat, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, the egg and the 1⁄2 cup bread crumbs; mix well with your clean hands. If the mixture does not hold together well—this may depend on the meat used—add the extra 1⁄4 cup bread crumbs. Form a loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the loaf with the ketchup. 

4. Bake for 50 minutes, and then check for doneness; the internal temperature should be 160 degrees F. If it isn’t, bake for another 10 minutes or so. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the loaf rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes; then slice and serve.

Reprinted with permission from A Meatloaf in Every Oven. 2017 by Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer, Grand Central Life and Style.