Good point Jimmy.
Our meatloaf mix is 80/20 beef, ground pork, unseasoned breadcrumbs made from WW ends, dried thyme, oregano, s&p, smashed roasted garlic, egg yolks, paprika, ketchup and Djon mustard. Foil covered and bake 350. Mid bake we top with brown gravy and continuing baking uncovered. We use pullman loaf pans for this so sandwich slicing is easy.
Hydrates the onion soup mix, the bouillion, parsley, and especially the breadcrumbs giving it a softer texture.
Ugh, just realized I wrote that wrong. It should be 2:1 ketchup to brown sugar.
My meatloaf has ketchup in a ditch running down the middle of the loaf, made with the heel of my hand. Parallel to the ditch, a slice of bacon on each side. My meatloaf sandwich is on oat bread, with cream cheese and a little jellied cranberry sauce.
There has to be a more elegant term than ditch for so wonderful a dish. I’m just not sure what it is.
Trough? Canal? River? Canyon!
CREAM CHEESE??? LOVE IT…
I get the ditch…or the receptacle for the special “sauce”
Danny…Defintely…you want the meat to have a particular moisture level when you mold it and the liquid helps move the spices around the meat…
By adding ketchup amd mustard to our usual meat mix, I figured that was enough liquid. Is your recommendation that we also add a bit of water to our prep?
Equal parts yellow mustard, ketchup and honey. Some glazed on the top as it bakes, extra drizzled on when served. I generally don’t like much sweetness in things, but it just isn’t meatloaf without the ketchup sauce.
I do think it does matter if you add other liquids and how much bread (binder) or egg you use.
I would say I use about 1/2 cup of water if making 2 lbs of meat, and I usually use a 90/10 mix of only beef. I have seen some recipes use red wine as well for liquid. If I do add other liquids it is in the form of Worcestershire (1 or 2 tbls. ) one egg, or perhaps some ketchup again 1 or 2 tbls.
I’m amazed at how “adaptable” meatloaf is showing itself to be, by the comments being made here.
Jimmy…some time ago out of curiosity, I did some reading about the origins of meatloaf. Although some form of cut up or ground meats have been made for thousands years and stuffed into various wrappers, it is was back about the depression era the it was developed as a way to add filler and stretch a cheap cut of meat for a large family. Families tended to be larger then they are today, and of course it was more common for the lower end the have more generations living together, especially in the concentrated areas on the east coast of the USA where their were huge influxes of all kinds of people.
For instance in my family, if we visited my grandmother’s house for Friday night Shabbat diner as I stated up thread, (Grandmother and Great Grandmother) would make both roast chicken and meatloaf. My grandmother the oldest, was one of 7 and she had her mother move in with her when she was widowed. So it would not be unusual for the 5 of us to go to grandma’s, but then one of my grandmothers brothers would show up with his 3 kids, etc. So it would not be unusual to have 12 or 15 for Friday night.
Chicken was cheap, ground beef was cheap and although in my household we were clearly middle class (1950’s -1960’s) my mother’s family were still struggling as first generation immigrants. My parents contribution to the evening was usually a couple bottles of kosher wine, a bottle of scotch, and a carton of cigarettes for my Great Grandmother. They were easy items to pick up during the week, and thus easily transportable to Grandma’s house.
Back to the meatloaf…there was also an economy in cooking meatloaf in the same oven as the chicken. In light of the short cooking time for the chicken parts and the meatloaf, usually less than an hour, the small oven could be cycled to cook two batches of everything. The meatloaf was also something that was served room temperature allowing the stovetop for soup and vegetables and the oven for the roasted potatoes or kugels.
Today, we are empty nesters, but have had the MIL and FIL move back to our home (we have a separate apartment for them in a different part of the house). The meatloaf that I make sits very well with them for several reason. It does reheat well, it is easy for them to eat (dental and gastric issues), and I can make it early in the day, partitioning some for them as they tend to eat a bigger lunch and a small diner.
Flexibility…I can alter the level of spices and blends of meat, when the kids come one daughter like a blend of pork, veal and beef, one of the boys likes his smothered in a can of brown gravy, etc.
If you consider the “adaptability” of meatloaf, you can see why it has become the popular dish it really is.
I had the thought yesterday that, while raising five children on one pay check, meatloaf was a staple in our dinner rotation. Three of our five kids “tolerated” the meal; one loved it, one loathed it (he would eat hot dogs on those nights meatloaf was served). I tried to convince Son #3 that meatloaf was just jazzed up hamburgers. He never bought into that slight deception.
Daughter #1 who loved the taste of meatloaf, continues to love it; and has it in her regular dinner rotation as a wife and Mom. Love that girl!
I love that…" I hate meat!!..Make me a hot dog!!!"
My daughter refused to eat pork, thought it was the grossest thing ever. Try to take a piece of bacon off her plate on Sunday morning she would bite your arm off.
I also don’t eat meat loaf. I’m a guy that eats predominantly protein and too much beef. For some reason it just doesn’t resonate with me. I love burgers as well, but won’t eat them without bread. I’m not sure why. Cool topic though!
Oddly enough of our five kids…not one has ever made meatloaf for us, nor do I think they have ever asked for the recipe! Although one of our daughters would always help me cook on Sundays and watch football with me…so I know she can make it…
You are lucky to have the next generation recognize your good old gourmet food!!!
How many use oatmeal as the binding agent
versus bread crumbs or pulverized saltines?