Cheese is optional, toppings are encouraged.
Yes, the cheese is purely optional, yet it is still at least a triple hamburger and a meatloaf at once! This is a simple concept idea that you can really tweak to your own liking. I used chard leaves as the lettuce of the “burger” knowing it wouldn’t get too mushy, yet you could also use spinach or kale. I also used sliced onions, jalapenos, and dill pickles. You may decide to add in fresh tomato slices, mustard, or bacon. It’s your burger meatloaf, put what you want in it. I’ll Just show you how to make one and you can decide later.
First off you have to make sure you work with a lean cut of ground beef. I used Wisconsin raised 91/9 grass feed beef that I ordered from Tropical Traditions. The reason you want such a quality lean cut, is that extra fat will simply render off your meatloaf and pool in your slow cooker. This does happen a little still with the 91/9 but not nearly as much and this came out great.
What you need:
- 2.5 pounds of grass fed ground beef, about 90% lean
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp granulated onion
The Toppings / Fillings:
- 4 ounces grass fed sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thin (optional)
- Large handful of chard or kale leaves
- 1 medium white onion, sliced thin
- 2 jalapenos, sliced medium
- 1 large dill pickle, sliced into hamburger sized pickles.
- Other options: Bacon of course, fresh tomato slices, mustard, chili, etc.
The Ketchup topping:
- Make the tomato sauce topping from this meatloaf recipe of mine, and simply top with sesame seeds.
- If you are super pinched on time and don’t care about the paleo police, just find a sugar free ketchup at the market, and top with sesame seeds. How much ketchup? Just enough to form a decent cover to your loaf, about a quarter cup.
How you make it:
- In a large bowl, combine your ground beef, 2 eggs, and spices. Mix by hand really good (let the kids to it) until an even consistency is reached.
- Divide your meat into 3 equal portions. They don’t have to be perfectly equal in size, just close. This is meatloaf not math.
- Lightly grease the bottom of your slow cooker with a small amount of coconut oil. A tsp will do.
- Press one of your portions of beef down into your slow cooker. You want to form an even base for your meatloaf leaving just enough room for your fingers to rest between the cooker and your loaf. Keep in mind I cook in a 6 quart cooker.
- Add your toppings to the first layer, leaving the outside 1/2″ of the layer untouched for crimping with the next layer. I added chard leaves first, then my cheese slices, onions, and jalapenos.
- Take another portion of your meat and flatten it out on your counter top so that it is large enough to cover the first layer. Place it on top of the first layer and use your fingers to crimp down the edges of the meat so that they join with the first layer. Tuck any toppings that are sticking out back into the loaf.
- Add your second layer of toppings. For this layer I used dill pickle slices instead of jalapenos.
- Use your 3rd portion of meat to form one last layer, and apply it to the top just as in step 5.
- Make sure no toppings are sticking out of your loaf, push them back in if they are! Use your hands to seal the layers of the loaf shut.
- Top your loaf with your tomato sauce / ketchup and sprinkle on some sesame seeds for garnish.
- Cook on high for 2.5 hours or on low for 5.
- When cooking is finished, allow loaf to cool before attempting to remove or slice it. Use some potholders to remove your slow cooker’s lining and transport it to your stovetop where it can sit and cool. You may also want to use a turkey baster to remove some of the fat that has rendered down into the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Enjoy! Do let me know if the comments what toppings you used in yours.