Any Kitchen Will Do

Give me a kitchen and I will cook.

Ham and Cheese Meatloaf

hamnchzmeatloaf

I was recently longing for the Cheesy Burger Bombs I made a while back. Since we were missing the necessary cheese snack wheels, and I did not want to run to the store, I decided to create a new thematic dish. A ham and cheese sandwich wrapped up in a meatloaf! The ham and cheese sandwich elements I prefer include, of course, ham and cheese, but also mustard and onion. I also like cold, crisp pickles, but excluded them from this dish, for I am not a fan of warm pickles. Yuck!

It was fun to make this meatloaf, especially since Little B helped stack the layers! Forming the bottom of the loaf to make a little nest for the filling, then stacking it all in the middle, then closing it up and hiding the surprise in the middle. She did not agree with the inclusion of the mustard layer, but after it cooked and we sliced it up the lovely condiment blended well with the warm onion, ham and cheese and she devoured it!

The final result reminded me more of a cheeseburger than a ham sandwich; you know, the kind where they basically put breakfast on a burger, with ham or bacon and cheese and a fried egg? When I had some of this loaf as leftovers I actually topped it with a fried egg. I highly recommend the addition!

Ham and Cheese Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
8 slices deli ham
12 ounces shredded colby/monterey jack cheese
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into thin discs
1/4 cup yellow mustard

In a large bowl combine beef, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, cumin, eggs and Worcestershire sauce. Mix ingredients well with hands or mixer.

Press half of the beef mixture into the bottom of a large loaf pan, bringing it up slightly on the sides.

Place a layer of onion in the middle, followed by a layer of half the ham slices. Sprinkle 8 ounces of the cheese on top of the ham, followed by another layer of ham. Spread the mustard on top of the ham. Place a final layer of onions on the mustard.

Press the remainder of the beef on top of the inside layers and press it along the edges to join the top beef with the bottom beef. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until the top is browned and beef cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool for about ten minutes. Depending on the fat content of the beef there may be an excess of grease and juices surrounding the meatloaf. Remove as much as possible before removing loaf from pan. Tip loaf pan so the meatloaf slides onto its side on a serving platter. Turn the loaf upright so the browned cheese side is on top.

Garnish with dark green lettuce leaves or fresh herbs and serve in thick slices to show the layers.

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