Low-Carb Meatloaf

Lots of stuff in this one. Let's see if I can remember it all from last night. The ground beef was about 3/4 pound I had left over. I think 80/20 (or even 70/30 if you can find it) quality ground beef is a fine paleo food. It's a good way to boost fat intake — essential to the paleo way — where a minimum of 50% of your energy ought to be coming from fat. Remember, this is a battle over hunger.

So, in addition to the ground beef we've got an egg, 1/4 chopped onion, 1/3 cup shredded broccoli / carrot, further chopped, clove of minced garlic, a splat of mustard, few dashes of Worcestershire, three tablespoons tomato sauce, and maybe a quarter teaspoon each of the following: salt, pepper, sage, thyme, parsley, oregano, basil. A dash of apple cider vinegar, about 1/3 cup of almond meal, teaspoon of dry basmati rice, 6-8 whole pistachios (more next time), and a half handful of whole cranberries.

I had to fashion a baking dish.


The oven was at 325 and I brought the internal temp to 145. You owe it to yourself to get one of these temp probes. It takes out the guesswork and saves time and overcooking.

Low-carb-meatloaf 2

While it was cooking I prepared a demi-glace reduction with a bit of added red wine and a few crushed cranberries. I then strained it. I was on my own for dinner, and realized that after digging in I wouldn't care for anything else and I didn't. However, I was coming off a fast and ended up getting hungry about 4 hours later and having bacon & eggs, around midnight. On the paleo way, one eats when one is hungry, no matter when.

Low-carb-meatloaf 3

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  1. Andy on January 13, 2009 at 13:24

    Funny, but I'm probably going to make either meatloaf tonite or the Paleo Omega Meatballs. Anyway, we also use fresh cilantro generously almost as a filler (1/2 cup) and that tastes wonderful. Of course, I'm biased since that's one of my favorites.

  2. Chris H on January 13, 2009 at 15:53

    That looks fantastic – especially the sauce. Could you explain the demi-glace reduction?

    By the way are you still losing fat?

  3. Chris H on January 13, 2009 at 16:20

    Thanks Richard

  4. Rachel on January 13, 2009 at 12:04

    Have you ever tried wrapping bacon around meatloaf? Meatloaf prepared that way is one of my favourite foods.

  5. Adam Cilonis on January 13, 2009 at 12:35

    My wife made a turkeyloaf the other day and wrapped it in pancetta! That stuff is amazing! It puts bacon to shame. Use parchment paper to hold the loaf together. Don't worry about the pancetta, it crisps up nicely even in the paper (convection oven though).

  6. Kate on January 13, 2009 at 10:53

    I am always looking for low carb recipes. This one sounds good. Although the pictures don't seem that appetizing…but meat rarely looks appetizing to me! Can't wait to try it.

  7. pooti on January 13, 2009 at 11:59

    Cool sounding recipe! I realize with paleo you get to have some fruits and stuff but wondering if the carbs from the cranberries were part of what pushed you to being hungry four hours later?

    What are your thoughts and opinions on this kind of cause/effect thing with eating?

  8. Richard Nikoley on January 13, 2009 at 12:08

    No way.

    I got hungry because this was actually a rather small meal coming off a 24-hr fast. I got hungry because I was legitimately hungry. BTW, I am not a "low-carb" dieter by definition. I'm a Paleo-like dieter without concern for fat intake so long as natural fats, and so my diet happens to be low to moderate in carbs.

    I gorge on fruit sometimes. It never gives me a problem. However, I keep it intermittent.

  9. Richard Nikoley on January 13, 2009 at 12:12

    I thought about it, but wanted to see how this held together, given the absence of bread crumbs. I put a bit of rice in (gluten free) and the almond meal helped a bit, but it was still slightly tender. Perhaps more egg next time.

    But yea, I'll definitely give bacon a go.

  10. Richard Nikoley on January 13, 2009 at 13:37

    Ah, cilantro. Interesting. Love the stuff, the stronger the better.

  11. Richard Nikoley on January 13, 2009 at 15:58

    I should be at my next round of photos, ~180 pounds around my b-day at the end of the month.

    Here's the wikipedia on demi-glace.:


    Right now I'm using a commercial product but will soon be making my own pure stocks & reductions and freezing them. Great sauces on meats makes all the difference.

  12. J on January 14, 2009 at 22:17

    reminded me of the meatloaf i had tonight. Beef is so much tastier when using flavors and using it meatballs and meatloaf. Richard, I wonder if you have a recipe for "paleo" chili. Mark Sisson has one over at his daily apple.

  13. Richard Nikoley on January 15, 2009 at 10:24

    I do indeed, although I make it differently every time. I'll post about it one of these days, but really, the basics are just fine: meat, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilis. If you like it hot as I do, a lot of the other spices become overwhelmed anyway,

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