Blog Flog: Mozzarella-stuffed Mini Meatloaves (or Giant Meatballs)

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The oak leaves were just sitting on our kitchen table, I swear.

Last week W and I were invited to come join a family cooking class at the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence (yes, this is an actual place, and for anyone who appreciates beef and butchery, it’s amazing) – they were working with Canadian Living (my fave, as you know) on encouraging families to bring their kids into the kitchen – a place W has been hanging out in since he’s been alive. Publisher Sandra Martin joined us virtually on the big screen and the butchers and beef chefs – such great guys – were there to help everyone along as we cooked our way through recipes in the current issue of CL – beef stew, sliders, stir fry, an easy roast (our task – and a good one as it allowed me to give W a crash course in gravy making, something I hope he remembers this Thanksgiving weekend) and mozzarella stuffed mini meatloaves, which W has been asking me to make again ever since.

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The guilt of having to go out to another evening thing inspired me to make them – guilt can sometimes be a good motivator – but they were fast enough to pull together as I was getting dressed and drying my hair. It’s a simple meatball mixture, wrapped around cubes of cheese and baked in a muffin tin – and although I love a good meatloaf (especially with a vinegary, brown sugary glaze brushed on top) these made perfect enormous meatballs to nestle atop spaghetti (or in this case linguini – I’ve made a vow to not buy any more pasta until we make our way through the dozen or so shapes in the cupboard) – and honestly, what’s better than a meatball stuffed with cheese? This is how to win friends and influence people under 12.

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This is also the sort of thing that can be made in advance – if you know you’ll be busy the next day, you can make them and keep them in the fridge. I imagine they’d also freeze well (unbaked – then thaw and bake), and could easily be made into larger batches for feeding bigger groups (yes, grownups love cheese-stuffed beef as much as kids do). Skip the glaze if you want to streamline things and they’re going to wind up in tomato sauce anyway. (Pardon the hasty photos – was also getting dressed and drying my hair…)

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Mozzarella-stuffed Mini Meatloaves (or Giant Meatballs)

Recipe link

  

October 2, 2016

From Canadian Living.

Ingredients

2/3 cups fresh bread crumbs

1/3 cup milk or water

1 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder and Italian herb seasoning

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

450 g lean ground beef

100 g mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 cubes

1/2 cup bottled strained tomatoes (passata - or crushed tomatoes)

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp packed brown sugar

2 tsp cider vinegar

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions

1In bowl, mix bread crumbs with milk. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in egg, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 tsp of the Italian herb seasoning, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper. Mix in beef just until combined and no streaks of bread crumb mixture are visible (do not overmix).

2

3Shape into 8 meatballs. Supporting opposing sides of 1 meatball with 2 fingers, press opposite index finger into centre to create 1-inch well; place 1 cube of the mozzarella inside. Press meat over to enclose mozzarella and reshape meatball. Repeat with remaining meatballs and mozzarella. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)

4

5Place 1 meatball into each of 8 wells of lightly greased muffin pan. Stir together strained tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and remaining Italian herb seasoning, salt and pepper; spoon over meatballs. Bake in 400°F oven an until instant-read thermometer inserted in several meat loaves reads 165°F, about 16 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

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7Makes 8 mini meat loaves.

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4 comments on “Blog Flog: Mozzarella-stuffed Mini Meatloaves (or Giant Meatballs)

  1. Carol S-B
    October 2, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    mmMMmm. I’ve had the “Lady and the Tramp” spaghetti and meatballs at Spot on 4th (Tuesday’s pasta night), and it is just excellent. Perfectly cooked meatballs stuffed with tasty cheese.
    Thanks to you, I don’t have to wait for Tuesday now!

    • Julie
      October 3, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      Happy to help! :)

  2. Alicen
    October 3, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I would definitely need to double this recipe for my gang and hopefully leftovers :)
    Do you recommend regular mozzarella or would ‘string cheese’ work for these? Seems like it would be the perfect shape to cut into pieces for the meatball stuffing.

    • Julie
      October 3, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      Although easy to handle, I don’t think string cheese is as gooey/meltable as regular mozza – but give it a go!

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