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  • 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 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 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


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spread cheese on plate and place in freezer until ready to use.
  • 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, prepare glaze.
  • 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.

Categories: Beef  Main Dish 

Author Credit: Cook's Illustrated

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