* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 stalk of celery
* 1/2 medium onion
* 1 small zucchini or squash
* 1/2 red bell pepper
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* Sea salt and ground black pepper
* Sprinkle of Adobo (or your favorite seasoned salt)
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme
* 1 tablespoon dried parsley
* 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
* 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
* Dash hot sauce
* Dash Worcestershire sauce
* Dash Soy Sauce
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup plus dash balsamic vinegar
Finely dice the vegetables, I like to use our food processor . Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the veggies for 2 minutes and then the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool (or put in the fridge to cool faster). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk the egg in large bowl and add herbs, bread crumbs, grated cheese, 1/4 cup ketchup, dash of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and hot sauce (optional) and mix thoroughly. Finally add the beef and cooled vegetables; gently mix (with your hands) until just combined.
Form a loaf in a pan or use cookie sheet with at least 1/2 inch sides because there will be grease. Whisk the remaining ketchup and balsamic vinegar and pour the mixture over the entire loaf.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. I like to serve with homemade mashed potatoes and corn.. or what I like to call grown-up shepherd's pie.