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Sep 24, 2008 12:39 PM

The Great American Meatloaf Contest Cookbook

I tucked the name of one of the authors into the back of my mind when I saw her on a cooking show around 13 years ago. Tried in vain to find the book in stored several years ago, but recently got it for a song on Amazon. Hearst Books, 1994, Peter Kaufman & T.K. Woods. I'm someone who never measures my meatloaf ingredients, so I probably won't follow these recipes to the letter, but there are a lot of interesting and appealing ones.

Unlike many restricted-topic cookbooks, where it turns out that half the recipes are for accompanying dishes, there are only 10 pages (various mashed potatoes, gravy, and a few veggies) like this in the 300-page cookbook. Most recipes are for beef or beef/pork/veal mix, but there some with sausage, pork, and lamb. There are chapters for vegetable and poultry loaves too. Particularly appealing are the filled loaves, rolled up in jelly-roll fashion.

There's a microwave meatloaf (rolled in crushed nuts), a crock-pot version, and a stove-top Dutch oven one.

The authors say that one of the best is a loaf-pan meatloaf with a cranberry mix beneath, so the finished dish is inverted, upside-down cake style, to reveal a savory cranberry topping. That and Beef Strogaloaf will be atop my "to make" list.

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  1. Hi,

    This is Peter Kaufman, the co-author the Great American Meatloaf Contest Cookbook. It's hard to believe that someone is talking about this 13 years after the book came out! I hope you try the Cranberry loaf. When it was submitted, it seemed like the worst idea we'd ever heard. It was fantastic and won the contest. Email me at if you have any questions about the book. Thanks...

    6 Replies
    1. re: peterkaufman

      No question but just last week I gave my copy to my daughter who wanted "my" recipe for meatloaf. Great book.

      1. re: peterkaufman

        Hi Peter
        Could you please give us the recipe for the cranberry meatloaf. Sounds very interesting.

        1. re: Babs

          Since Peter never responded, I'll paraphrase (haven't made it yet). Lightly oil a 9" loaf pan. Mix together 3/4 c whole berry cranberry sauce and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar. Put this into the pan. The meatloaf mix itself is nothing special so I won't repeat it - you can use whatever your favorite combo is, with 2.5 lbs meat. He includes a half tsp each dried thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. Put meat into pan, top with 2 bay leaves. Bake at 350 for 75 minutes. Let cool in pan 10-15 m in, remove bay leaves, and invert onto serving platter, drizzling the juices and berries over the loaf before serving.

          If you try it, please post your review.

          1. re: greygarious

            I had purchased this cookbook years ago and misplaced it during a move. Wanting to try the cranberry recipe, I went online and googled it. Every online recipe claiming to be from this cookbook said to use 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce. Eventually, I found my copy (YAY) and see that indeed, it is 3/4 cup sauce. Did the online people just change the recipe to suit their tastes, or was there a typo in the book?

            FWIW, the Firehouse Meatloaf is my favorite from this book.


            1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

              Just checked the book - it's 3/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce.

              1. re: greygarious

                so why, when you look online, do most recipes state 1/4 cup? I'm glad I found my book, and did not rely on the internet versions. They all stated that the recipe came from Peter Kaufman's book. I have the ingredients at the ready to make today. Just waiting for the temp outside to come down before I turn on the oven. Record breaking highs in my area yesterday and today.

      2. This sounds like a great book, do any other Hounds have experience w it?