Making Mini Meat Loaves — Photos

This week’s cooking projects from my recipe collection was to make my mini meat loaves, the subject of this post, plus, earlier in the week, blondies and bran muffins. My recipe for meat loaf is another example of one of my easy recipes whose formal existence lies in simply documenting rough amounts of ingredients required to make the dish, as well as filling the freezer with convenient prepared-in-advance foods in portions convenient for one to two people; admittedly, the recipe hardly describes a particularly technical, involved, or challenging dish.

First, I checked my container in which I collect and save bread crumbs and bread pieces to see if I’d had enough dried bread crumbs and bread pieces:

My container of dried bread crumbs and bread pieces

Although I did have a sufficient supply, I decided to add to it, by taking out a bread heel …

Bread heel

… which was sliced into spears …

Bread sliced into spears

… and then sliced again into cubes:

Bread cut into cubes

The bread was placed into a countertop convection oven in order to dry the bread cubes:

Bread cubes drying in a countertop convection oven

When dried (and perhaps slightly over-browned), the bread cubes were taken out of the countertop oven, and allowed to cool:

Dried bread cubes

The cooled bread cubes, and some of my existing supply, were placed in a measuring cup and put aside:

Dried bread put aside

Two onions were taken out …

Two onions

… trimmed …

Trimmed onions

… chopped somewhere between coarsely and finely …

Chopped onions

… and placed in a bowl, to be put aside for later use:

Chopped onions placed in a bowl

A serving plate was placed on a kitchen scale, which was set to imperial units, and set to zero:

Plate, and kitchen scale set to zero

Four pounds of ground beef were measured out …

Four pounds of ground beef

… and placed in a large mixing bowl (well in this case, a large salad bowl):

Ground beef placed in a mixing bowl

The dried bread cubes and bread crumbs were added to the mixing bowl:

Dried bread cubes and bread crumbs added to the mixing bowl

The chopped onions were added to the mixing bowl:

Chopped onions being added to the mixing bowl
Chopped onions added to the mixing bowl

A large egg was cracked and added to the mixing bowl:

Large egg added to the mixing bowl

A teaspoon of salt was added to the mixing bowl:

A teaspoon of salt was added to the mixing bowl

And pepper was added to the mixing bowl:

Pepper added to the mixing bowl

Here is the mixing bowl with all the ingredients in it:

Mixing bowl with all the ingredients

All ingredients were thoroughly mixed by hand:

Ingredients mixed by hand

The meat mix was formed into six individual mini loaves, and three mini loaves were placed in each of two loaf pans:

Meat mix formed into individual loaves and placed in loaf pans

The meat loaves were placed in a countertop oven preheated to 350F:

Meat loaves placed in countertop oven

Partway through the cooking, the meat loaves were removed from the oven, and basted with the drippings from the bottom of the baking pans:

Basting the meatloaves with drippings from the baking pan

At the end of the cooking, the meat loaves were removed from the countertop oven:

Fully cooked meat loaves

The drippings were transferred to a bowl …

Drippings from the pan were transferred to a bowl

… and the grease was cooled solid in a refrigerator:

Solidified grease

The solidified fat was separated from the other drippings, which were saved in a container andĀ frozen for use in some future soup not yet otherwise planned; the solidified fat was wrapped in paper towelling, and placed in the curbside brown box for municipal composting.

In the meantime, the meat loaves were placed on a tray, to be placed in the freezer to quickly cool down:

Meat loaves placed on a tray to place in the freezer to cool down

Sealable sandwich bags were identified with the intended contents and the date:

Sandwich bags identified with the intended contents and the date

The now partially frozen meat loaves were placed in the sandwich bags:

Meat loaves placed in sandwich bags

Finally, the meat loaves were placed in the freezer again, for when I will be eating them.

They are really convenient to take out for last minute supper plans for two, and / or to have leftovers for lunches.

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