Instant Pot: Make Ahead Meatloaf

Meat and potatoes. How many folks do you know who enjoy a comforting 'meat and potato' dish? I'm more of a 'meat and rice' kind of gal but either way, it's comforting. When I think of meat and potatoes, meatloaf and mashed potatoes come to mind. It's been awhile since I've made meatloaf and after making this recipe for Make Ahead Meatloaf, I foresee many more meatloaves coming out of my oven. This isn't your momma's meatloaf. In fact, it's so flavorful and juicy, I was surprised to learn what the secret ingredient was in this dish! Can you guess what it might be?!...

The secret ingredient is bratwurst. Fresh bratwurst is removed from its casings and is combined with ground beef, processed {gluten free} crackers, sautéed onions and garlic, along with a mess of other flavor boosting ingredients. The bratwurst really adds a lot of moisture and flavor to this meatloaf. It makes sense to use bratwurst in this recipe in lieu of ground pork and/or veal. And did I mention how easy this is to make ahead, hence the name?! This makes several mini loaf pans for the freezer so be sure to plan on stocking up!

Make Ahead Meatloaf
recipe adapted from Cook's Country (Feb/Mar 2011)

2 teaspoons oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 saltine crackers OR gluten free crackers
1 pound ground beef 80/20
3/4 pound bratwurst, uncooked, casings removed
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE and add 1 tablespoon oil.  Add onion and cook until browned.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Process saltines or gluten free crackers in food processor and transfer to bowl with onion mixture.

Add beef and bratwurst to the bowl along with the remaining ingredients and gingerly knead until combined.  Press mixture into 8 disposable 3” loaf pans.

Add 1 cup of water into the IP with the IP trivet set in place.

Place 2 mini loaf pans onto the trivet and stack the remaining 2 loaf pans on top, cross wise.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 15 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 15 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 15 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl and preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Remove meatloaves from IP and transfer to a baking sheet. Apply the glaze to the tops of the meatloaves and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes for glaze to bake in.

Remove from oven and cut the meatloaves into slices and carefully remove from the pan and serve.