Caramelized onions add the perfect hint of sweetness to balance out the spice in this gooey, cheesy meat loaf dinner.
Spicy Cheesy Meat Loaf with Caramelized Onions
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1½ cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ½ cup plain bread crumbs
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- ½ pound ground pork
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup cubed Gouda cheese
- ½ cup cubed smoked Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon puréed canned chipotles in adobo sauce
- ½ cup shredded Gouda cheese
- ½ cup shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
- Garnish: ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 2 tablespoons water and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs and milk; let stand for 5 minutes. Add caramelized onions, beef, pork, eggs, cubed Gouda, cubed Cheddar, thyme, and remaining 1¾ teaspoons salt, gently stirring until well combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and chipotle purée until smooth. Add half of ketchup mixture to beef mixture, stirring until combined. Gently press beef mixture into a 9×5-inch metal loaf pan.
- Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 160°, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Carefully tilt pan over a bowl to drain; discard drippings. Top with shredded Gouda and shredded Cheddar. Bake until cheeses are melted, about 7 minutes more. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with pepper, if desired. Serve with remaining ketchup mixture.