We all have those nostalgic dishes from our childhood that we grew up eating, thought were weird or gross but grew to love. This Old School Meatloaf is one of them for me.
My mom’s family always made meatloaf with perfectly-cooked hard-boiled eggs running through the center. As a kid, I was both fascinated and disgusted by this simultaneously decorative, bizarre and somehow beautiful meatloaf.
I remember wondering: “How did they get the eggs in the center?”, “How did it stay together?”, and ”Should I eat it?”. LOL!
Fast forward a couple decades and I find myself with a family who not only wants meatloaf but the old-school version. Since my mom’s family recipe was bound together with breadcrumbs, eggs and ketchup, I had to do a bit of a reinvention.
My version is a Paleo Meatloaf Recipe that combines both lean ground beef and ground pork with herbs, spices, egg and some almond meal to bind it together. If you don’t eat pork, you could use dark meat chicken or turkey. Whatever you do, don’t skip the hard-boiled eggs. They are the best part!
- Worcestershire Sauce is a tricky thing if you care about real food, because the classic we all know and (used to) love has some crap in it. There are a couple organic, vegan versions that I know of (this one and this one) but they contain wheat and soy in some form. If those things are OK for you, I suggest just picking up one of the cleaner, organic versions. If not, here is a Paleo Worcestershire Sauce recipe I found that looks good.
- You have to make the hard-boiled eggs in advance. This can be done days prior. Here is my foolproof technique for perfect hard-boiled eggs every single time!
- I recommend ONLY using 3 hard-boiled eggs so that your eggs don’t stick out the edges of your meatloaf. My son demanded that we put in four so I went with it but it does make it a bit more difficult to cut.
- The loaf pan size I used is 9 x 5 x 3 inches / 8 cups Imperial OR 23 x 13 x 8 cm / 1.9 liters Metric
- 4 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ large or 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce (see NOTES)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup almond meal
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 to 4 hard-boiled eggs (see NOTES)
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Ghee or olive oil
- Begin by finely chopping garlic, onion and parsley. I cheated and used the food processor to save time. If you want to do the same, place garlic in first, process until finely chopped and then add onion.
- Pulse until onion is finely chopped but not watery.
- Remove onion and garlic to a large mixing bowl. Place parsley in food processor and process until finely chopped and you can measure ½ cup. Add to mixing bowl.
- Add tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, almond meal and beaten eggs into mixing bowl.
- Mix until well combined and add in ground beef and pork.
- Use your hands to gently combine until spice mixture is just incorporated. You do not want to overwork the ground meat or it will be tough.
- Take ½ of the ground meat mixture and place into a loaf pan (see NOTES for size). Press down until well packed and make a slight well in the center for the hard-boiled eggs.
- Place hard-boiled eggs in well.
- Cover with remaining ground meat mixture. Be sure to pat down well and make sure there are no air pockets.
- Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for topping (tomato paste and ghee or oil).
- Use your hands to evenly spread the topping over the meatloaf.
- Place loaf pan on a baking sheet (so the meatloaf juices don’t leak over and cause smoke in the oven) and put on the center rack in oven. Bake undisturbed for 90 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. The meatloaf should have shrunk just a bit and pulled away from the sides. There may also be juices that overflowed onto the baking sheet and are still in the loaf pan.
- Once meatloaf has cooled, use 2 sturdy spatulas to gently remove it to a cutting board. Slice, serve and Enjoy!