Classic Meatloaf

Classic Meatloaf

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Traditional Chinese Medicinal Properties: Warming thermal nature, tonifies and strengthens the spleen-pancreas and stomach, supports circulation, blood-building.


  • 1 lb. 90% lean grass-fed ground beef or ground bison
  • 1/2 cup crushed gluten free crackers or GF breadcrumbs**
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1 minced Serrano pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked plain oatmeal, quinoa, or grits
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce (for GF use Tamari)
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Circulate spice blend
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp Power Pepper
For the Topping:
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • Add olive oil to saute pan, heat to medium, add onion and cook 5 minutes, add garlic and Serrano and cook an additional 5 minutes
  • Deglaze* the pan with the apple cider vinegar and transfer the contents of the pan to a large bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the beef, bread crumbs, cooked grains, egg, sriracha, Circulate spice blend, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt, vinegar, and Power Pepper.
  • Use your hands to mush and mix these ingredients together until well combined. Really get in there; the final product will be better the more thoroughly the ingredients are mixed.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Shape the meat mixture in a rounded loaf shape.
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • In the meantime, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Remove the loaf from the oven and pour the sauce on top of the meatloaf and spread it into an even layer.
  • Bake uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 8-10 minutes before slicing (or it may fall apart).

*Deglazing is a useful technique in which you use a liquid to loosen all the brown bits that got stuck to the pan while sauteing. These bits are full of savory flavor and shouldn’t be discarded. Deglazing is often done with an acidic liquid, like wine or vinegar, but it can also be done with stock or even water. When the pan is still at its hottest, add the vinegar, turn the heat to low, and swish it around. Then using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, scrape the all the bits (known as fond) from the bottom of the pan and stir them into the onions, pepper, and garlic. If we were making a sauce the next step would be to add the liquid which serves as the base of the sauce. In this case, turn off the heat and move all the contents of the pan to your mixing bowl and let them cool.

This recipe takes some time but it is well worth it. Meatloaf is part of my family lineage. The matriarchs on both sides were, and are, protective of their recipes and they didn’t/don’t share them lightly. As a chef, this legacy has fallen to me and I am proud to have taken those recipes, combined them, added my own twist, and released the result to you so that everyone can enjoy the deliciousness. The health benefits are not be underestimated either.

Quality grass fed beef or bison provides sustaining protein and omega-6. Circulate is specially formulated with ingredients that support circulation, of course, but also blood and heart health. The addition of Power Pepper adds three types of beneficial mushrooms which support the immune system. Onion and garlic both support the immune system as well.

I know it may seem a little excessive to cook oatmeal, quinoa, or grits just for this recipe. However that can be handled with a little planning, just have quinoa the night before or make oatmeal or grits that morning for breakfast. Cooking the onion, garlic, and Serrano pepper separately before adding them to the mixture is an “extra” step too, but it adds a developed richness that adding them raw is lacking. These are the reasons this meatloaf is unequaled in taste. Give it try and let me know how it worked out.

Enjoy! -Chef Kelly

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