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Grass Fed beef question

What can I add to a GFB meatloaf to make it more moist. Often it is crumbly.
My meatloaf has 1lb beef, a squirt of ketchup, dash of Worcestershire, dried seasonings, dehydrated onions, about 1/2 cup bread crumbs, one egg, and minced celery. I cook it at 350 for 45 minutes. All suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. Some believe that adding water is the secret to great meatballs. Maybe some fine diced fresh onions and mushrooms instead of dehydrated.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      I was thinking along the lines of onions and mushrooms as well. I often will mince them very small and add to burgers which works well with grass fed beef and bison.

      1. re: fourunder

        Yes, water or other liquid (milk, cream, wine, stock). If dehydrated vegetables are used, they should be soaked to hydrate them first. And the bread crumbs should be moistened too before use, otherwise the dry ingredients are going to suck moisture out of the meat.

        Since grass fed beef tends to be leaner, adding a slosh of olive oil could help. Or as others have suggested, blending in some pork or pork sausage.

        One can also cover the meatloaf while it's baking with foil to hold in some of the moisture. Then take it off for the last 15 minutes to color the top surface.

      2. You could add a pound of pastured ground pork, that always does the trick for me. If you don't have that, try some finely chopped celery, onions, and carrots, or chia seeds.

        1. Diced and sauteed mushrooms or grated zucchini both work well. Breadcrumbs AND dry seasonings AND dehydrated onions with lean meat is asking a lot- could you do fresh diced onion? You may actually need to add some fat. I'd go for bacon fat or coconut oil. I'd also ditch the breadcrumbs.

          1. I always add ground pork or pork sausage to meatloaf. Like 2/3 beef, 1/3 pork. Helps a lot. Otherwise, my mom makes a weird mush of milk and crushed saltine crackers that she puts in her meatloaf. Looks and sound disgusting, but tastes amaaaaaazingly good!

            1. you need a water vegtable... you have celery and onion.. I would maybe put some green pepper in... maybe some milk... maybe some actual onion...

              1. Use grated onion and some celery. Grating the onion seems to really help add flavor and keep it moist.

                1. My Swedish meatball recipe has some heavy cream in it. You soak the breadcrumbs in it and then mix it with the meat. I think this helps keep them moist. You might try that in your meatloaf.

                  1. Your bread crumbs and dried onions are absorbing moisture from the other ingredients. You need to moisten those before hand (or use fresh onion).

                      1. Simihound, is the beef from Novy Ranch? We buy the 80/20 from them, and I add a few tablespoons of milk to the mix. We use fresh onion, and fresh garlic in the mix.

                        Is your loaf free form? I bake ours in two small Le Creuset coquettes, and often have to drain them after baking. But the milk helps to keep the final loaves tender.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nikkihwood

                          Yes it is from Novy Ranch . I have the 90/10 mix. I don't recall an 80/20 mix. I bought several cuts of beef from him and had the worst time cooking with it. Everything cooks so fast. Two minutes of overcooking can ruin the beef.

                          sidenote-my dog developed pancreatitis recently and Dr Novy said to put her on a lowfat diet. He said Novy Ranch Beef was a good choice for her diet. I though it was quite funny. I would have been funnier if the dog I loved so much was not ill and in pain.

                        2. I recommend reading the grassed gourmet by Shannon Hayes. Her recipes are simple and developed for grassfed meat. Also educational. Keep on cooking!

                          1. I suspect that it is not the fact that its grass fed that is the issue, but that too much fat has been cut away in the preparation. Those of us who live in parts of the world where grass fed is the norm do not have general problems with meat being dry.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Harters

                              I think you're right, it's entirely the amount of fat (especially for a ground meat)
                              I don't think it has much to do with the States, though - besides the natural tendency of most of us Americans to make the comparison between the corn-fed beef we grew up with and grass fed beef. They're clearly different in significant ways but often employ the same preconceived notions of "beefiness" to judge both.
                              The grass fed and finished beef I buy in Philadelphia makes juicy, moist burgers every time I don't screw them up...

                            2. I've added shredded, peeled, Granny Smith apple to GFB burgers to keep them moist, and it really works. They don't taste apple-y either. Perhaps this trick will work with meatloaf, too.

                              1. If you're not worried about calories, fat from grass fed beef is quite healthy. Omega 3s and all that jazz! So added fat is a sure fire way to moisten it up. If you don't want to do that, or don't happen to have any extra grass fed beef fat sitting around, I'd use milk, cream, or butter. Or maybe even some olive oil instead. Fat is always the sure way to a moister meat loaf. Good luck!