This savoury, hearty paleo meatloaf is made with the addition of balsamic fried onions, fibre rich carrots and a bit of bacon for extra magic. Serve with a side of ketchup or mustard!
I kid you not, I have had this recipe on my to-do list for a long time. In fact, I think I took the photos nearly a year ago. This week I got a serious craving for tasty meatloaf and I remembered that I never got around to sharing my version with you.
There are lots of paleo meatloaf recipes around, but I make mine with a couple of sneaky ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic onions for extra flavour. I also like to add some finely diced chicken livers for extra nutrients, but this is completely optional and you can easily use all ground beef.
Instead of using eggs, I add mayonnaise to the mix. The creamy combination of eggs and oil work well as a binder and to add moisture to the meat. If you’re a bit skeptical, feel free to use 2 eggs instead.
I know that most meatloafs are smothered in tomato sauce/ketchup over the top but I prefer to wrap mine with bacon and bake until crisp. I serve a paleo friendly ketchup on the side instead.
Quick note about wrapping the meatloaf with bacon. See the image below for how to line the loaf tin with bacon strips, so that they overlap over the top. I only had 5 rashers, so I have some gaps but if you use 7-8 pieces or as many as you need to line up your pan, you will have a much tighter package, so to speak.
For the ketchup, you can either make a batch of a paleo and Whole30 friendly tomato sauce yourself or you can find a sugar-free or naturally sweetened and gluten-free version in a health food store or online. I know Amazon has a few options like this one or this one.
- Coconut oil or olive oil for greasing
For the onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
- 1 large white onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
For the rest of the meatloaf
- 6–8 bacon streaks/rashers, rind removed (I only had 5 pieces but please use more to line up the whole pan)
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 700 g / 1.5 lb grass fed beef mince
- 150–200 g / about 5 oz chicken livers (optional, you can instead use 850-900 g / 1.8 lb of beef mince alone)
- 3 tablespoons almond meal or almond flour (omit for a nut-free version)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise (alternatively, 2 eggs + 2 tablespoons olive oil)
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried or semi-dried tomatoes
To serve: paleo friendly ketchup, see notes for recommendations, or other condiments and a side of veggies or a salad.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 355°F. Grease a medium loaf tin (about 9 x 5” or 8.5 x 4.5”) with a little coconut oil and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil or ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and sauté for 7-8 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir for a minute, until slightly caramelised.
- Line the loaf tin with bacon rashers overlapping them over the edges in an alternate way as you go (see photo). You can reserve a couple of rashers to fill in the gaps at the top once the meat is in. I only had 5 streaks when I made the loaf in the picture, so I have a few gaps in my finished bacon top but you get the idea.
- Squeeze the grated carrots over a sink to remove some of the excess juices.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the carrots, beef, chicken livers (if using), the cooked onions and the rest of the ingredients. Use clean hands to mix the filling really well, making sure the ingredients are well incorporated and spread through.
- Pack the mixture into the loaf tin and wrap the overlapping bacon pieces over the top of the loaf, pressing them down with your fingers.
- Place the meatloaf in the oven, middle shelf, and bake for 45-50 minutes. I suggest to rotate the tin half way through. Turn the oven off, leave the door open and allow the loaf to rest for 10 minutes inside.
- When you remove the tin, you might have some cooking juices inside. Simply pour the liquid out into a bowl and reserve to drizzle over the loaf when serving. Carefully remove the loaf onto a plate (I like to top the tin upside down while holding a plate over the top) and slice when serving.
- While the loaf is cooking, prepare a side of vegetables or a salad.