A low-carb meatloaf is a healthy and tasty substitute for a traditional meatloaf, which usually incorporates a large amount of bread crumbs to act as binder and filler. A low-carb meatloaf incorporates onions and mushrooms for flavor, texture, and filler, along with a small amount of flour or cornstarch for a binder. Tapioca flour, potato starch, or garbanzo bean flour can also be used. For a gluten free, low-carb meatloaf, use xyanthan gum, available in most health food stores and some gourmet grocery stores.
The ground meat can consist of all beef or a combination of beef, veal, and pork. The beef should be ground chuck, if used alone, or ground sirloin when combined with the other meats. Ground chuck contains more marbling and is therefore moister when used alone. Ground sirloin, with less marbling, relies on the other meats for moisture.
For each pound of ground meat, finely mince half of a small onion and six large mushrooms. Heat a skillet on high heat and add a small amount of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and mushrooms in a single layer. Reduce the heat to medium, add salt and pepper, and fry the onion and mushroom mixture until most of the moisture has evaporated, about ten minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly.
Place the ground meat in a large work bowl and add the onion and mushroom mixture. Add a large raw egg, which has been lightly scrambled. Add one tablespoon of any flour, or two teaspoons of cornstarch, or two teaspoons of xyanthan gum. Add one tablespoon of dry thyme, two teaspoons of salt, and a teaspoon of pepper. Thoroughly mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon, making sure that the egg is well distributed and not visible on the surface of the meat. Pack the meat into a compact loaf, taking care to avoid overworking it, which will result in a tough, dense low-carb meatloaf.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. For best results, bake the low-carb meatloaf on a sheet tray so that any melted fat will not accumulate around the meatloaf. The sheet tray must have a raised rim all around to prevent spilling the fat. Good results can also be obtained using a large bread loaf pan, but the low-carb meatloaf will be slightly greasier. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the interior is no longer pink.