Meatloaf. Just the word brings back memories of my childhood. My mom made meatloaf quite frequently while I was growing up. When I married and had children, this was a meal that I also made often. I have made meatloaf so many different ways and not all of them good but this one is my son John’s favorite meatloaf recipe. When you find “the one” you feel on top of the world. After all, kids can be so picky when it comes to their food.
What Is Meatloaf ?
According to Wikipedia: Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat that has been combined with other ingredients and formed into the shape of a loaf, then baked or smoked. The final shape is either hand-formed on a baking tray, or pan-formed by cooking it in a loaf pan.
Meatloaf was one of the most common dishes made during the Great Depression in America because it was simple and necessary. An important part of survival was making food last as long as possible by adding fillers to the ground meat. Only later was vegetables added to the mix.
Meatloaf, Yes or No?
Many people just cringe at the word meatloaf. But if it is made right meatloaf can be really tasty. In the past meatloaf was just thrown together with some breadcrumbs and ketchup. Doesn’t sound good to me. But we have come a long way in making meatloaf taste good.
Tips To Make A Great Meatloaf
Meatloaf needs to baked covered to keep in the moisture. Just uncover the last 15 minutes of baking to brown the top.
Eggs are another factor in making a meatloaf taste good. The eggs act as a “glue” that holds the ingredients together and they also maintain moisture. Without adding eggs you may find that your meatloaf does not keep its shape.
Don’t slice your meatloaf too soon. Let the meatloaf stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. This will also help it to maintain its shape. Nobody likes crumbly meatloaf. I know this is hard to do especially if you are in a hurry to get the meal on the table due to a hungry family.
Always cook your vegetables before adding them to the meatloaf mixture. This will add flavor.
Don’t overmix your meatloaf. Have all your ingredients ready and add them all at the same time. That way you only have to mix once. The more you mix, the tougher the meatloaf will be.
Add a glaze or topping. This will also help your meatloaf stay moist.
Don’t use lean meat. You need some fat. This also helps with moisture. Nothing worse than a dry meatloaf.
John’s Favorite Meatloaf Recipe
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound breakfast sausage. (many times I have used maple-flavored sausage)
- 1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers, finely crushed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper.
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
Saute onion and green bell pepper in 2 tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix all ingredients. Place in a lightly greased 11×7 baking dish (I use baking spray) and shape into a loaf approximately 10×5. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven. While meatloaf is baking mix topping/glaze ingredients together. Cover top of meatloaf with glaze about 15 minutes before it is done and continue to bake uncovered. You know it’s done when a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
Remove from oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
I usually cut the recipe in half if I am cooking for just my husband and me. This makes plenty for just the two of us.
There are many side dishes that go great with meatloaf. Green Beans is one of them.
I hope you try John’s favorite meatloaf recipe
Leave me a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on meatloaf
Have A Wonderful Day!