Stuffing a traditional meatloaf with ham and cheese turns it into something special, provided you can keep the meat and cheese in place. On our first attempts, we layered the ham and cheese to the edges of the meatloaf base and then covered the toppings with another layer of the meatloaf mixture before baking. So, what happened? Cheese leaked out the edges of our finished dish. We knew we had to tackle the issue.
To solve the oozing cheese problem, we first spread half of the meatloaf mixture into a 10 by 6-inch rectangle and layered ham and cheese in the center of the rectangle. Leaving a 1-inch border on all sides helped keep the cheese from leaking out. We then capped the ham and cheese with the remaining meat and pinched the top and bottom edges together to ensure a tight seal.
AVOIDING A BLOWOUT
1. To make the meatloaf base, spread half of the meat mixture into a 10 by 6-inch rectangle on a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet.
2. Layer the ham and cheese in the center of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides so the meatloaf can be properly sealed.
3. Form the remaining meatloaf mixture into a 9 by 5-inch rectangle and center it over the filling. Fold the bottom edge up over the top layer and pinch the edges together to seal.
MAKE IT NOW: Our recipe for Ham-and-Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf is free through October 23, 2013.