i never realized til i was an adult how odd this was, as i've learned that most people don't use "love" and "meatloaf" in the same sentence. but my experience has only been positive, so i love to make meatloaf... especially for people who say they don't like it.
as a bonus, i'm including my recipe for meatloaf (the tip will follow towards the end).
the reason i think most people are not meatloaf fans is because they've only ever had dry, flavorless meatloaf. the reason i love it is because i grew up with a mom who knew how to make it... and now my kids will tell anyone that meatloaf is one of their favorite meals.
here is how i make it:
2 - 2 1/2 lbs of ground meat. i suggest using half lean ground beef, half ground turkey. do not use all ground turkey as it does not "set up" well; and all ground beef tends to come out too dry.
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1 beaten egg
2 TBSP ketchup
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground mustard (although, in a pinch, i've used dijon mustard)
- combine milk and bread crumbs and set aside until the bread crumbs have absorbed all of the milk
- combine meat, egg, ketchup, and bread crumb mixture. use your hands! they are truly the best tool, although the pampered chef mix n chop works well, too.
- add about 2 tsp of onion powder (or more if you like).
- salt and pepper like you mean it
- shape in the form of a loaf and place in shallow greased dish (13x9 works well) or follow my tip below
- add topping (which has been mixed well)
bake at 350 for 45 minutes - 1 hour (depending on how large your meatloaf is)
i promise this meatloaf will be moist and flavorful... no need for gravy!
however,... here is something to make it a bit different.
every now and again (or if i'm short on time and don't want to wait an hour for dinner to cook), i cook my meatloaf in muffin tins!
here are the meatloaf muffins before they went in the oven.
i only show them pre-baked, so you can see that they come out of the oven much the same size (another reason lean meat is the way to go).
not only does cooking meatloaf this way speed up the whole dinner process (they are out of the oven in about 20 - 25 minutes), it adds a fun presentation to the table. for kids, they are the perfect serving size. it also ensures just the right amount of topping for everyone's portion (something we don't take lightly in our house).
try it! maybe you love meatloaf, too.
ps) next week's tip is this week's side dish - amazing mashed potatoes you'll want to try.