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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 peter@hooplegroup.com 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?