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MEATLOAF - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for February 2014

Hello DOTM enthusiasts!

Hope everyone is set and ready to make amazing meatloafs and share their recipes, experience, and sage advice on how to make this humble dish outstanding. I am looking forward to great recipes and tips so that my meatloaf will appear more frequently on the dinner table and become more fun and desirable that it ever was.

The nomination thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/960584

The voting thread is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9613...

Previous DOTM threads are here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/929718

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  1. I'm excited to see what pops up on here. Ever since I was a kid I've hated meatloaf and I want to like it! I'm sure if I make some myself with the advice of my fellow hounds I can make a meatloaf I love.

    1. Oh good. I'm going to spend part of my lazy Sunday trying to figure out how I want to do a goat meatloaf.

      2 Replies
      1. re: debbiel

        Goat meatloaf! Fantastic! That's what I want, debbie.

        1. re: MGZ

          We're planning on buying a whole goat soon. That sounds like a great idea.

      2. Maybe we can start off by reviewing this old thread, lots of good tips.
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3621...

        3 Replies
          1. re: coll

            What a great thred, coli - plenty of ideas for versions that are new to me.

            1. re: MidwesternerTT

              This is how I tweaked my 30 year old recipe to something I make on a regular basis now!

          2. A microwave version will get made sometime this month. This is my one exception to "never cook meat in the microwave".

            Microwave Meatloaf

            Recipe mom got from a co-worker.
            Written on a calendar page dated December 15, 1980.

            1 ½ lb. ground beef - I use extra-lean 93% lean
            1 cup milk
            1 egg
            1 small onion, diced
            3 pieces dried bread, crushed into crumbs (about 6 heaping T.)
            10 square soda crackers, crushed
            2 Tablespoons catsup
            salt
            pepper
            1/8 tsp. paprika
            Topping - approx. 2 T catsup, 1 T. dried parsley flakes

            Mix all of the ingredients and press into a round baking dish. Cover with waxed paper. Microwave on high (or 80% for 1100 watt unit) 18 – 20 minutes, turning the dish after 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Top during standing time with catsup and parsley flakes.

            1. Yay I'm excited. Stuffed pasta sounded fun too but this one is easier. I already have some meatloaf cupcakes I want to try.

              3 Replies
              1. re: juliejulez

                Topped with mashed potatoes? I make this for my mom - freeze 'em, and she defrosts and nukes them. She loves them.

                1. re: nikkihwood

                  The recipe I want to try doesn't have mashed potatoes as a topping (has panko), but I've had them before. When I lived in Chicago, the "Meatloaf Bakery" was about 2 blocks from my apartment. They specialized in that :)

                  1. re: juliejulez

                    Ahh...panko sounds good as well. I have to try this. Thank you!

              2. Though I'm not a huge fan of the Food Network Magazine, they did have a terrific mix and match meatloaf recipe where you get a basic formula for making meatloaf then choose options from each category. The possibilities are endless!

                MIX AND MATCH MEATLOAF:

                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ar...

                ETA: One of my favourite meatloaf recipes is Paul Prudhomme's Cajun Meatloaf:

                http://www.food.com/recipe/paul-prudh...

                Here's my review of the recipe (w pix) on the COTM thread:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6845...

                22 Replies
                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  The mix and match FN link reminded me about the addin of rice. What are your thoughts about adding uncooked rice to meatloaf? I tend to leave it out because the texture bothers me. Any tips or tricks to adding rice to meatloaf?

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I've never used rice in meatloaf HillJ but I have used it in meatballs. You took me right back to my early cooking days! I used to make "Porcupine Meatballs" quite a bit as they were a big hit with my high school friends. The rice is used in place of the breadcrumbs and absorbs moisture. Back in the day we didn't have a choice between various types of ground beef (lean, extra-lean etc) it all used to be a fattier ground chuck so I think the rice really helped to absorb the fat...kind of gross now I think about it!! So, how this would translate into meatloaf tips...I'd say if you're not fussed on the texture, I'd likely stick w breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (I use cracker crumbs a lot because it lets me use up the last few crackers from a box!). If you would like to give rice another try, I imagine that instant rice would likely almost dissolve into the meatloaf so the texture may not be as much of an issue. I can also imagine that basmati rice would be fabulous in a lamb meatloaf.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      I remember my Aunt using parboiled white rice in her meatloaf but in all the years I've been making various loaves I never cared much for the texture. However, that lamb with basmati has me curious now. I think ground lamb is probably my fav ground and I have never tried using rice lamb meatloaf or balls. Interesting.

                    2. re: HillJ

                      I add cooked leftover rice to meatloaf when I have it on hand. I freeze the last half cup or so of steamed rice that comes with delivered Chinese food and throw it into the meatloaf mixture. I also add cooked Spanish rice, yellow rice, etc.

                    3. re: Breadcrumbs

                      The only liquid is the 1/4 cup of ketchup. Is it dense? Does it hold together OK? Is it moist? For years I've looked for a good meatloaf recipe and tried dozens of them--I keep on trying....

                      1. re: fleck

                        I'd definitely recommend you try the PP Cajun recipe fleck, it's wonderful.

                        The FN recipe isn't dry or dense because there's 2 eggs to 1.5 lbs of meat. Also the vegetables add moisture. I find 1 cup of veggies is plenty otherwise the meatloaf mixture becomes too loose...especially if you use mushrooms or onion.

                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                        My go to meatloaf has always been Paul Prudhomme's recipe. Never fails to please and makes other recipes taste flat.

                        1. re: BeachCookie107

                          Tried the Paul Prudhomme recipe today. Ingredient costs, meat at full-price, totaled over $15. We found it way (way!) too spicy for our tender Midwestern tastebuds, even though I omitted 1 tsp of black pepper and cut back the Tobasco to 1 tsp instead of 1 T. It was OK when eaten with a 2x larger bite of baked sweet potato, so I'm expecting it will be fine between 2 slices of bread -- looking forward to sandwiches for lunches.

                          It also made a mess of the baking pan - a very wet loaf that "oozed" the butter/ketchup/milk sauce stirred in with the cooked veggies.

                          I'd make it again when I can get the ground meat on sale, but reduce the butter to 1 T, halve the Cayenne & White pepper spices, still omit the black pepper, and further reduce the Tobasco to only 1/2 tsp. I'll also form it into 2 loaves, and freeze one after baking since it makes a substantial quantity of meatloaf.

                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                            I hear you about the heat. That is a lot of cayenne and hot sauce! My husband is even less of a fan of heat than I am so I often substitute ancho chili powder for cayenne when the cayenne is more than a pinch. I also cut way back on Tabasco and serve it on the side. We are big fans of black pepper. Love a meatloaf sandwich.

                            1. re: Berheenia

                              This is the reason I was never tempted to try to make this particular recipe. I can tell just by looking at it that it will not be anywhere near what I think of as "meatloaf". Maybe if he renamed it, I would try it as something completely different. We love spicy, but this just seems wrong somehow.

                              1. re: coll

                                It's not wrong, Coll. It's Cajun. Hot and Spicy. Much different flavors than regular comfort food meatloaf. Not to everyone's liking, I know.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  I just looked at the recipe and, for 2# of meat, I don't think a tsp of cayenne sounds all that spicy. As you say, everyone's mileage varies.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    If it were just the cayenne it probably would have been fine. But abundant cayenne + black pepper + white pepper + Tobasco is quite a combo of heat. And with the cumin, nutmeg and Worchestershire all adding flavors to the mix, we enjoyed the sum of the group just not the level of heat. Still plenty of "meaty" taste and it smelled wonderful while baking.

                                  2. re: Gio

                                    I like my meatloaf with lots of herbs but negliable spices: Just like dear old Grandma used to make. Although over the years I've added mustard powder and horseradish to the mix, for a more subtle kick. I might make this sometime but would have to call it something else...like Cajun Meatload! ;-)

                                    Just kidding, actually I refuse to put peppers in my meatloaf, but otherwise the main difference from mine is just the hot stuff. And the evap milk, which doesn't sound too appealing to me either. Guess it's hard to come up with a completely new concept? Feel free to keep trying to sell me though, you never know! I notice that everyone who is praising this recipe starts by saying "I hate meatloaf,but...." so therein might be the appeal? It doesn't taste like meat!

                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Prudhomme's Cajun Meatloaf is hands-down, in my opinion, the greatest I've ever made. That cookbook was one of the first I ever owned, and I've made the meatloaf many, many times over the years.

                            Now I want meatloaf. Gah!

                            1. re: KrumTx

                              It is a little off topic, but if you like the meatloaf, you have to try his Shepherd 's Pie (really a cottage pie since there is no lamb). Yummy flavors, topped with veggies and fantastic mashed potatoes, makes it worth all the workM

                              1. re: BeachCookie107

                                There was a pot pies DOTM in Jan 2013 - maybe put a link in there?

                                1. re: herby

                                  The shepherd's pie is closer to meatloaf than pot pie!

                                  1. re: BeachCookie107

                                    You are right but it really is in its own category :)

                                2. re: BeachCookie107

                                  If you like Shephed's Pie, when you make meatloaf, make double and freeze half of it in the dish you want the Shepherd's Pie to be in eventually. Freeze it. Next time you make mashed potatoes, make double and put half on the meatloaf in the freezer> Shepherd's Pie. Less work.

                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                I'm a Prudhomme convert, all the way.

                                I've also made this to varying degrees of success (the apple gets a little bland and tends to fade away in flavor, but does make for a nice texture and moistness:
                                http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cheesy-A...

                                I keep meaning to try that one with more ground pork than ground beef, but honestly when I even think about making meatloaf I immediately start craving the Paul Prudhomme recipe.

                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  Love the review on the food.com link that says the recipe "never fails to disappoint". Probably because s/he didn't follow step #8, which says to remove the breadcrumbs. I imagine that gets time-consuming.... ;-)

                                  I've debated with a friend who refuses to trust online recipes but reading this, I'm reconsidering my stance!

                                2. I follow the meatloaf recipe from the Best Recipe Cook Book that was put out by Cook's Illustrated. I have the original edition. This recipe from the Food Network is virtually identical to it.

                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ba...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Kiyah

                                    The CI meatloaf is my "go-to" meatloaf. It is really fabulous. I like it better made with crushed saltines than oatmeal, and with milk than with buttermilk or yogurt. I've made it with and without the bacon and both versions are delicious. The leftovers make great sandwiches. This meatloaf also freezes well.

                                  2. I made a pretty good meatloaf using a lamb/beef mixture, and some Middle-Eastern inspired spices (I hate that wording but I don't know what else to call it.) It was a while back but I think it was garlic, coriander, fennel, black pepper, and whatever else inspired me that day. made them mini-sized and froze several after baking. warmed and sliced they're great alone or in pita bread with some veggies.

                                    Still cant stand traditional meatloaf but I'm starting to see I can really mess with the ingredients to make it something I love. Can't abide bell peppers or burnt-on ketchup skin.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: iheartcooking

                                      That would interest me too. Funny, as I love meatballs, kefta etc but every time I made a meatloaf recipe I found it dull as doornails.

                                    2. I just found the meatloaf recipe that inspired my nomination. It's a spinach meatloaf that I made when the NYT Essential Cookbook was COTM and apparently it was later a featured CHOW recipe. See link below. Anyway we have had this twice this winter, once for company who raved about it, and is a permanent member of our rotation.
                                      http://www.chow.com/recipes/29523-spi...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                        Hi Berheenia, curious whether you puree the celery, parsley and milk as the Chow recipe directs. I can't really wrap my head around that.

                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                          I did and it was one of the reasons it was so good- it makes a very light loaf. And I'm not a big fan of celery except at Thanksgiving and in tuna salad.

                                      2. My favorite meatloaf recipe by far is this curried meatloaf recipe that I found on Allrecipes a few years ago. It's become my go to comfort dish now. My husband, who generally doesn't care for meatloaf, has been known to ask me to make this for him.

                                        The loaf comes out really moist, and the fruit and the curry mixture is always a good combination of flavors.

                                        http://allrecipes.com/recipe/curried-...

                                        1. Here I am again, proselytizing for the use of coleslaw in meatloaf, meatballs, and fricadellen. The last is meatloaf mixture sauteed gently in patty form, which means lots of delicious crust per portion, and is ideal for cold or hot sandwiches on round buns.

                                          It matters not what the rest of your recipe is - just add as much coleslaw as you do onion, and don't change the rest of your measurements or ingredients, if you've drained the slaw. If not (and I don't drain), cut back on your liquid. I use the slaw juice instead of milk to soak the fresh breadcrumbs. The slaw melds into the meat, adding sweetness and moisture. Most people can't tell it's there, and think what they see/taste is extra onion.

                                          I don't measure, but one time when the meatloaf was extra-good, I wrote this from memory:
                                          2 pounds ground chuck
                                          2 eggs
                                          2 slices Martin's whole wheat potato bread, cubed
                                          1/2 packet onion soup mix
                                          1 heaping tsp tomato paste
                                          1/2 tsp garlic powder
                                          1 tbsp Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master
                                          3/4 cup mayo-style coleslaw, not drained
                                          2 medium onions
                                          1 carrot
                                          1 stalk celery
                                          1 small bell pepper
                                          2 slices bacon
                                          ketchup
                                          FOR GRAVY: canned cream of mushroom soup, half&half or evaporated milk

                                          In a large bowl, whisk eggs with soup mix, tomato paste, Kitchen Bouquet, and coleslaw. Stir the bread into this and let it soak. Meanwhile, use a mandoline or food processor to shred the vegetables. (NB: If making fricadellen, instead of shredding the onion and pepper, use a mandoline to slice them into very thin rings. This will give the mixture a matrix to adhere to as the patties cook, so they don't fall apart when you flip them.) Mix them into the panade with your hands, squishing to break up the bread. Add the meat and keep squishing until all mixed. The mixture will be rather soft and wet.(If making fricadellen, form into 8 patties and saute in 2 batches over medium heat in a nonstick pan with a tsp of oil. Cook patties, without moving them, for 10 min until bottom is firm and brown. Flip carefully, cook another 10 min. Set patties aside and proceed to gravy.)

                                          Pat the mixture into a 2-piece meatloaf pan, mounding it. The pan will be VERY full but fear not - all those vegetables will shrink as the loaf bakes. With the heel of your hand, form a lengthwise trench in the middle of the loaf and fill it with ketchup. Lay a slice of bacon on each side of the trench. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 60-75 min. Pull when the bacon is crisping and the loaf has pulled away slightly from the sides of the insert.

                                          Rest meat loaf in pan for 15 min, then turn it out and tent it. Put the drippings into a saute pan, then pour boiling water down the sides and bottom of the insert and use a rubber scraper to get all the fond off the insert and pan and into the saute pan. Boil off the water. Add half& half and a half can of cream of mushroom soup, plus (optional)
                                          sauteed onion and simmer until you have a gravy of desired thickness.

                                          Makes 8 generous servings.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            I guess you can't add just cabbage? I was thinking of the tender flat cabbage, sometimes called Korean cabbage. I love fricadellen in Germany and the Netherlands, and I thought those were made with straight cabbage, which we never eat enough of, as it is both cheap and extremely nutritious, especially in wintertime.

                                            I'm making red cabbage tonight, which has nothing to do with meatloaf, except that it is good with meatballs, meatloaf etc.

                                            1. re: lagatta

                                              You CAN add plain cabbage, wilted in whatever way you choose. I discovered subbing coleslaw serendipitously, and preferred it. If I had leftover braised red cabbage, I'd absolutely set some aside for including in meatloaf.

                                          2. I made the following meatloaf when The Essential NYT Cookbook was COTM in Jan. 2011. Very nice variation of this comfort food:
                                            Oliver Clark's Meat Loaf, Pg. 554
                                            https://food52.com/recipes/2530-olive...

                                            My 2 go-to meatloaf recipes are:
                                            Chipotle Meatloaf from the Parish Cafe in Boston. I usually substitute either bison or dark meat turkey for the ground beef. And, I use regular rolled oats for the binder:
                                            http://www.boston.com/ae/food/article...

                                            Red Hot Texas Chili Meatloaf:
                                            http://www.cooks.com/recipe/513nv0s4/...

                                            Also, I Highly recommend Chef Paul Prudhomme's Cajun Meatloaf. It's a little time consuming and spicy, but absolutely delicious!

                                            Finally... Act Two: The Sandwiches!!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Gio

                                              I loved Oliver Clark's meatloaf- very eclectic!

                                            2. Try this: after your meatloaf is in the pan ready to go in the oven, moisten dark brown sugar with ketchup and add a little nutmeg then smear this on the meatloaf. I run the handle of a wooden spoon down the top of the loaf to make a ridge, fill it with the stuff, then smear it all over the outside of the meatloaf.

                                              1. Here's some thing that DOESN'T work so let me save you the trouble of finding out. Looking for something to bind a gluten-free meatloaf for a friend, I had the bright idea to pulverize GF rice noodles, the thin angel-hair shape, in the Cuisinart. I thought they would powder. They did not. No matter how long I ran the machine, they would reduce only to tiny lengths which, if I had put them in the meatloaf, would have made it look full of maggots. I threw them out. Don't go there.

                                                11 Replies
                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                  Not that I need to cook gluten-free, but surely had you soaked the noodles, either before or after chopping up, they would have turned into a smooth paste. Mixed with egg, that would have been a suitable binder.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    Another approach would be cooked lentils. I've used them to stretch when I didn't have quite enough meat. Sub for about 25% of the meat. Cooked and mashed and mixed with egg, they work as binder too.

                                                  2. re: Querencia

                                                    I have not made GF meatloaf but make meatballs often. I usually use GF breadcrumbs or cooked rice. Recently I started to think that quinoa flakes will be very good. All of these binders will work in meatloaf too.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        How about potato? I made a tagine, and as I had ONE small potato left over, I decided to grate the poor thing and put it in with the leeks, onions and other veg. It added a nice body without having to add flour or processed starch.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Potato will work great - I thought about it after I finished my post above and didn't want to edit...

                                                          I do not think rice flour will work just as I can't imagine using wheat flour in a meatloaf. It has to be substantial enough to provide structure.

                                                          1. re: herby

                                                            I didn't know at all and, yes, agree that the texture is just SO light. Potato sounds great and I'm going to remember that when appropriate.

                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                            I'd be more inclined to use crushed rice crackers than flour.

                                                        2. re: Querencia

                                                          Pulverizing gluten-free corn flakes in the food processor works really well as a binder for meatloaf. It adds a subtle flavor as well.

                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                            I use a bit of dry cream of rice cereal as a binder when I make meatballs... should work with meatloaf, too.

                                                            1. re: Querencia

                                                              Crushed pork rinds make a terrific (GF and low-carb) filler for meatloaf and are my preferred "crumbs."

                                                            2. I smoked a meatloaf a while back that took meatloaf to a whole new level. The best ever.

                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9254...

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                I'm with you c oliver. I started smoking homemade bacon a while back and it just seemed like a natural progression from bacon-wrapped meatloaf to smoked meatloaf. I use any old recipe that catches my eye, but I do the cookin' out on the gas grill with a handful of wood chips in my cast-iron smoke-pan. Even the picky children love it.

                                                              2. Perfect. Husband is coming home after five days away, and loves a good meatloaf. I usually use Food and Wine "No Apologies"

                                                                http://www.food.com/recipe/food-wines...

                                                                I think I've liked

                                                                "Old Fashioned Meatloaf" on Epicurious too.

                                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                1. My Meatloaf

                                                                  I have used this meat loaf recipe for many, many years (since late 1950s or early 1960s). It honestly is better than any other meat loaf recipe I have tried.

                                                                  That being said, the Paul Prudhomme Cajun Meatloaf recipe sounds delicious and I think I will give it a try.

                                                                  1 cup oatmeal
                                                                  1/4 cup milk
                                                                  1 pound ground chuck
                                                                  1 pound ground round
                                                                  2 eggs
                                                                  1/4 green pepper, chopped
                                                                  1 large onion, chopped
                                                                  2 t salt
                                                                  1/2 t garlic salt
                                                                  1/4 t celery salt
                                                                  1/2 t dry mustard (I use Coleman’s dry mustard in a yellow tin found with the spices)
                                                                  1/4 t pepper
                                                                  1 T Worcestershire sauce
                                                                  1/4 cup catsup

                                                                  Put oatmeal in the bowl you will you to mix the meatloaf and add the 1/4 cup milk to it, let soak for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the oatmeal is soaking, you can either chop green pepper and onion and OR YOU CAN DO WHAT I DO AND TAKE THE EASY WAY TO DO IT – I put rest of ingredients from eggs through catsup in blender, then blend until everything is very thoroughly blended). Mix oatmeal, ground chuck and ground round – do not overmix, then pour the mixture that is in the blender into ground round/oatmeal mixture and mix well (better to do this using both hands to mix). Put into baking pan or round oven-proof skillet (cast iron if you have it) and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50-60 minutes.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Wtg2Retire

                                                                    question
                                                                    I don't like to mix dairy and meat-I used to keep kosher
                                                                    how do you think the meatloaf will come out if I substitute water or another liquid?

                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                      The liquid in our meatloaf is tomato sauce.

                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                        Vegetable broth? Wine?
                                                                        I don't use milk, JPR.

                                                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                          Although I have never used other than milk, I believe vegetable broth or wine would be great. Actually, any liquid substitute would probably work well.

                                                                      2. This one is based on my mom's meatloaf, with changes to the meats (she did 2 parts beef to 1 part pork) and losing the green bell pepper, which Mrs O hates. (Her having become vegetarian will reinstate the peppers, but I'm just copy/pasting it as is). This yields a firm loaf when refrigerated, perfect to slice for sandwiches … which is why I really make meatloaf anyway!

                                                                        Last Night's Three-Pound Meatloaf

                                                                        1 lb each of ground beef, pork and lamb
                                                                        2 med. yellow onions, chopped fine
                                                                        2 stalks of celery, chopped fine
                                                                        2 lg/x-lg eggs
                                                                        1/4 to 1/3 cup catsup
                                                                        1 Tbs Tabasco
                                                                        1 1/2 cup crumbs (cracker, bread, panko, whatever)

                                                                        seasoning:
                                                                        2 Tbs salt
                                                                        1 Tbs dried herb(s) of choice - I used Herbes de Provence
                                                                        lots of freshly-ground pepper

                                                                        Mix meats, onions, celery and seasonings thoroughly with hands or fork. Beat in eggs, catsup and Tabasco, then add crumbs and mix until it's pretty much an undifferentiated mass. It should hold whatever shape you mold it into - if it's too goopy for that still, mix in more crumbs a small handful at a time.

                                                                        Press into a 2-quart loaf pan, preferably glass, and let it sit, covered while the oven preheats to 350º.When the oven is hot, set the pan on a center shelf, with a small baking sheet under it on a lower shelf to catch any drips. After the first half-hour, check every so often to see if there's excess liquid; suck this out with a bulb baster. Bake abt. 1 1/2 hr, or until internal temperature is 150º. Let sit 1/2 hr before removing and slicing.

                                                                        Instead of straight catsup, my mother always mixed up about 3/4 cup catsup with a big spoon of prepared horseradish and a few dashes of Worcestershire, reserving about half of it to spread on top during the last 20 minutes of baking.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                                          I was going to post my father's recipe for meatloaf, but you just did, WillOwen. Except for the celery and horseradish, it's the same recipe. Father's 'secret ingredient' was the Worchestershire sauce. Before he told me how he made his meatloaf ( he became the house cook when he retired before my mother did), I'd fiddled around with made up recipes, throwing any old vegetables in that I had leftover in the fridge. Once I made his, I never made any other. It's delicious out of the oven, and delicious out of the fridge for a cold meatloaf sandwich the next day.

                                                                        2. I had a favorite recipe, which I lost a few years ago. Can anyone supply a similar one?

                                                                          It had ground lamb, which I combined with a low-fat meat, like ground turkey.

                                                                          There were several semi-cooked veggies, chopped and mixed in, including potato, zucchini, onion, and especially eggplant.

                                                                          And of course the usual eggs and crumbs.

                                                                          It was the lamb and eggplant which made it special.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Sharuf

                                                                            I have not made the Spiced Lamb Loaf from the Great American Meatloaf Contest cookbook, but here it is:

                                                                            3T olive oil
                                                                            1-1/2 c chopped eggplant
                                                                            1.2 c finely chopped onino
                                                                            1 garlic clove, minced
                                                                            2t chili powder
                                                                            1/4 t cumin
                                                                            1/4 t ground coriander
                                                                            1-1/2# ground lamb
                                                                            1 c chopped potato
                                                                            1/3 c seasoned breadcrumbs (more or less)
                                                                            2T chopped green chilies
                                                                            4 drops hot sauce
                                                                            1 large egg, lightly beaten
                                                                            1/3 c chili sauce*
                                                                            1/4t salt
                                                                            cilantro leaves for garnish

                                                                            *I am guessing this is the Heinz stuff next to the ketchup in stores.
                                                                            9x5x3 loaf pan, 375F preheated oven

                                                                            Saute eggplant, onion, garlic in olive oil until soft, 7-10 min., add chili powder, cumin, coriander, stir and cook another minute. Cool a little. Then mix everything together save the cilantro. Place in loag pan, bake 45-60 min. rest 10 min before slicing.

                                                                            There's also a recipe for an accompanying cheese sauce with chilies and Monterey Jack, if that appeals to you.

                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                              Thank you! This looks like the one I was seeking. (Of course, I diddle a little with the recipe).

                                                                              I served it to a meatloaf-hater and he really liked it. I think the veggie-heavy ingredients set it apart from the usual meatloaf,

                                                                              BTW, Campbell's golden mushroom soup makes a good gravy base for meatloaves, and for this one I add some lemon to enhance the Near Eastern flavors.

                                                                          2. Years ago I bought a copy of the New Basics. It has a recipe for the meatloaf that was served at 72 Market St in Vinice CA.. It's the best that I've tried and have seen no reason to try and improve on it. The link below pretty much nails it.

                                                                            http://greatgrub.com/recipes/72_marke...

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: mike0989

                                                                              I would agree that Leonard Schwartz's meatloaf from 72 Market Street is the best ever. I just made it yesterday and got raves from everyone at our dinner table.

                                                                              The recipe in the above link doesn't include the sauce/gravy which was served with Scwartz's meatloaf along with mashed potatoes. Here is a link that includes the sauce recipe:
                                                                              http://sseichinger.blogspot.com/2006/...

                                                                            2. I pulled out my copy of THE GREAT AMERICAN MEATLOAF CONTEST COOKBOOK.

                                                                              There are lots of twists in there but I can't very well post everything here. A few things sounded intriguing to me: one called for cinnamon raisin toast as the binder but for a beef loaf. I think it would be a good idea for a recipe using turkey, chicken, and/or pork. Super bowl loaf has beef, ham, and kielbasa, and a spicy pineapple glaze. There's meat loaf baked in a pumpkin, and a different one including a recipe for pumpkin ketchup. There are stuffed, single serving, and jelly-roll style meatloaves.

                                                                              Vegetarian loaf recipes include a lentil version and a walnut one.

                                                                              A lot of these recipes call for sweet components as part of the loaf, or in a sauce/glaze.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                grey thanks so much for the reminder about this book!!! I'd completely forgotten I purchased it!!

                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                  Yeah, I have all three Silver Palate books and that 72 Market St. cookbook sounds intriguing, so I just ordered a copy.

                                                                                  In the meantime, I bot the Great American Meatloaf cookbook for me and a couple of friends. I know I have it! Duh!!

                                                                                2. I made this recipe yesterday - http://www.chow.com/recipes/30343-chi... - Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins which happens to be a CHOW recipe.

                                                                                  It calls for ground dark meat chicken, which I couldn't find in my local grocery store but B/S chicken thighs were on sale so I bought a family pack and ground my own.

                                                                                  I made this recipe mostly to freeze the little meatloaf muffins so I could have something easy in the freezer for weekday meals. These are pretty easy to make and tasted good as well. They were a little tough which is probably a function of the ground chicken being handled too much.

                                                                                  I'd make these again...and probably will once I get the supply in my freezer whittled down...but may be more likely to try them with grd. turkey than chicken

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                    You beat me to them! I have a recipe from a different site that is pretty similar that I think I'm making next week. I have some ground chicken to use up in the freezer already but in general I think I'd rather do turkey too... ground chicken has an odd texture a lot of the time.

                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                      The texture isn't too bad, but they are a bit on the tough side from over mixing :-)

                                                                                  2. Not traditional meatloaf but I've had great success with this Honey Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf. We actually prefer it with ground chicken. I love "real" meatloaf but my husband is not a fan. He (and my kids) really like this one.

                                                                                    http://traceysculinaryadventures.com/...

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: valerie

                                                                                      This looks tasty, I bet my SO would like it. I will have to try it soon.

                                                                                    2. This should be a truly comforting month of dining with meatloaf on the menu. It's been about a year since I last made meatloaf with spicy Matouk's glaze (a sauce I whipped up after having joined the Trini-Chinese Chicken bandwagon on the WFD thread). Not to gloat, but I am pretty darned excited to slather that stuff on some beef and pork meatloaf in the upcoming weeks!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                        Ooh, JM, could you elaborate on that glaze please? We also love the T-C chicken!

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          My notes say it's nothing more than 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tbsp. Matouk's and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Glaze your meatloaf before and during cooking and don't be afraid to get a little bit of smoky char on the glaze.

                                                                                          I thought I might have added a pinch of cumin to the glaze to complement the floral flavor of the Matouk's, but my meatloaf often has cumin or smoked paprika, so that might be where I added the balancing spices.

                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                            Excellent! Our last meatloaf (see above) was smoked and I think this glaze will put it completely over the top. Thanks.

                                                                                      2. Making this tonight. Veggie-packed-meatloaf-quinoa

                                                                                        http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip...

                                                                                        I will reply back with a verdict.

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: phokingood

                                                                                          This turned out fabulous. Very moist and delicious!

                                                                                          1. re: phokingood

                                                                                            This looks very interesting, though lacking in spicing and herbs. I'll use it as a base and tweak it; thinking Middle Eastern aromatic spices. I haven't got any ketchup, but I suppose tamari or a sort of Asian bbq sauce I have could do.

                                                                                            1. re: lagatta

                                                                                              Be careful with tweaking. I made Paul Prudhomme's recipe above that everyone raves about and had to tweak it because I didn't have all the ingredients. The result is the worst meatloaf I ever had :( Very sad and definitely not the recipe's fault.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  And you are right not to - lesson learnt!

                                                                                                2. re: herby

                                                                                                  I just wanted to add a bit of (aromatic, not hot) spice, not change ingredients or proportions. I like the idea of this poultry - quinoa loaf (or meatballs) in terms of combining proteins, but it seems woefully bland. And I'm certainly not going to start eating ketchup.

                                                                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                    I don't have the worlds best pallet but it was far from bland.

                                                                                                    I use nothing but the best ingredients so I'm sure that helped but I did stick with the recipe and was really pleased in both the taste and mouth feel of the loaf. It turned out really moist almost fall apart moist. I'm curious as to what others think so if you make it reply back! Thanks!

                                                                                            2. Decadent Meat Loaf with Porcine Brown Gravy

                                                                                              Ingredients:
                                                                                              1 pound of ground beef, veal & pork mixture (found in most grocery stores)
                                                                                              1/2 pound of sweet (mild) Italian sausage.
                                                                                              3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
                                                                                              1 egg
                                                                                              1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                              1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
                                                                                              1 cup fresh sliced porcine mushrooms. (Dried Porcine mushrooms re-hydrated)
                                                                                              2 tablespoons micro-planed onion
                                                                                              1 tablespoon butter
                                                                                              1 cup scratch made beef broth (canned low-sodium if you must)
                                                                                              1 tablespoon of Ultratex (preferred thickener over having to mix Cornstarch & water, a tablespoon of roux can also be used)

                                                                                              DIRECTIONS:
                                                                                              1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
                                                                                              2. Chop your mushrooms (re-hydrate porcine mushrooms in a ½ cup of hot water if using dried and grate the onions)
                                                                                              3. Combine meat mix, sausage, bread crumbs, egg, salt, and fresh ground black pepper; mix to combine but do not over mix. (Same rule as meatballs. Over mixing will make the loaf denser. Place in an 8”x4” loaf pan.
                                                                                              4. Put the loaf pan on a baking rack with a roasting or sheet pan underneath to catch any over flow. Bake until middle of loaf reaches 165 degrees. This should take about 1 hour.
                                                                                              5. Remove the loaf pan from oven, rest your meat loaf for 5 minutes, then pour off the excess liquid from the loaf pan and reserve into a small bowl refrigerated. Let the loaf rest for another 10 minutes prior to slicing.
                                                                                              6. Meanwhile, make your gravy in a medium saucepan. Melt the butter over moderate heater medium heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until tender.
                                                                                              7. Next add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes more.
                                                                                              8. Add the beef broth; simmer for another 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.
                                                                                              9. Next add the thickener, either Ultratex, cornstarch & water or roux mixture, stir and simmer for another few minutes until thickened.

                                                                                              Decadent Meat Loaf Leftovers. In a preheated heavy skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid/fat drained from the meat loaf in a heavy skillet. Place slices of leftover meat loaf in the pan and saute until warm and a edges are crispy. Serve with the warmed leftover gravy or make a sandwich. Yummy decadent leftover meat loaf indeed!

                                                                                              1. Blue Cheese Meatloaf

                                                                                                Meatloaf:
                                                                                                2 bacon rashers
                                                                                                100 g mushrooms, diced
                                                                                                350 g ground beef
                                                                                                1 tsp beef stock concentrate (e.g. Better-Than-Bouillon) or 1 beef stock cube
                                                                                                1 small onion, diced
                                                                                                1/2 tsp dried oregano
                                                                                                1/2 tsp dried thyme
                                                                                                2 Tbsp tomato paste
                                                                                                100 g blue cheese, crumbled
                                                                                                1 egg, lightly beaten
                                                                                                1 egg white
                                                                                                110 g bread crumbs
                                                                                                75 g smoked ham, diced

                                                                                                Topping:
                                                                                                50 g blue cheese, softened
                                                                                                1 Tbsp sour cream
                                                                                                75 g smoked ham, finely diced
                                                                                                1 pinch cayenne
                                                                                                2 Tbsp bread crumbs

                                                                                                Cook bacon in hot pan until browned. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft. Drain.
                                                                                                Preheat oven to 350F. Combine ground beef, stock concentrate, herbs, tomato paste, cheese, egg, egg white, bread crumbs. Mix in bacon-mushroom mixture and ham. Press into pan.
                                                                                                Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove pan and change oven setpoint to 425F. Let meatloaf rest for 5 minutes, drain away excess liquid, turn onto baking sheet.
                                                                                                Mix topping ingredients together, and spread over meatloaf. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

                                                                                                (This is an Australian recipe, so 1 tsp is about same as 1 American tsp, 1 Tbsp is about same as 1.3 American Tbsp.)

                                                                                                1. This Batali recipe is my absolute favorite. I usually substitute 1 pound of dark meat ground turkey for 1 of the 2 pounds of ground beef. The fresh mozzarella and basil get vaporized but add to the overall flavor, as do the sun dried tomatoes. I only make it once a year, but love it when I do. I call it meatloaf "luxe" and try to get the most humanely raised ground meats and sausage possible, so it's pricey. But so good!

                                                                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Madrid

                                                                                                    I make a similar meatloaf that I stuff with a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan, which melts inside and turns into a sort of sauce. It's incredible - one of my most requested recipes. I'm feeling inspired to make it now - I'll post the full recipe if/when I do!

                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                      Ricotta is genius, I just recently started adding a bit to my meatloaf and it makes such a difference!

                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                        oh, please do post the recipe. sounds great! I wonder if ricotta replaces eggs as a binder or is a substitute.

                                                                                                        1. re: Madrid

                                                                                                          Ok, here you go!

                                                                                                          Ricotta-Stuffed Italian Meatloaf

                                                                                                          1.5 lb ground beef
                                                                                                          1 lb. hot Italian sausage
                                                                                                          1 small onion, minced or grated
                                                                                                          4 cloves minced garlic
                                                                                                          1 c. crushed or diced tomatoes with juice
                                                                                                          2 T. chopped fresh parsley
                                                                                                          1 c. grated parmesan
                                                                                                          3 eggs
                                                                                                          ½ c. pine nuts, lightly toasted
                                                                                                          2 c. grated mozzarella
                                                                                                          1 ½ c. bread crumbs (or binder of choice - I use pork rinds)
                                                                                                          2 c. ricotta (one 15 oz container, or I make my own)
                                                                                                          Fresh or dried basil or Italian seasoning or other herbs, to taste (I usually use a couple of teaspoons of dried)
                                                                                                          salt and pepper to taste

                                                                                                          Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the ricotta with half the parmesan, half the mozzarella, one egg and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

                                                                                                          Combine all remaining ingredients and knead well to combine. Place on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish and shape into a loaf with high sides. Make a well in the meat and place the ricotta mixture inside, then mold the sides over to seal the top (leave a small vent hole for steam). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350°, covering after 30 minutes if the loaf starts looking too brown. Let it rest a few minutes before serving.

                                                                                                          I usually serve this with marinara sauce on the side - I just make a quick one out of whatever tomatoes I have leftover from the can I used in the recipe. The ricotta mixture also melts to form a sauce of sorts, but it resolidifies as the meatloaf cools so it's nice to have the extra tomato drizzle. It is SO GOOD! The pine nuts could be left out but they're actually my favorite part - little unexpected nuggets of texture and flavor.

                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                              Thank you for this recipe. I can't wait to try it!

                                                                                                      2. I can't wait for my loaf to be done to reply. I've always hated meatloaf. Mainly because of the ketchup layer but also the green bell peppers. So I decided it's time to move on. So today I made a beef/pork loaf. Sweatted half an onion, and a red bell pepper, very finely diced. And a little garlic My spices were dried garlic, fennel and coriander, ground in my spice (coffee) grinder. Glazed with balsamic reduction.
                                                                                                        I hope it's good. Even if I don't like it I'm sure I'll like the sandwiches tomorrow.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                          Turned out delicious. I thought I'd overcooked it as it seemed a little tough when I sliced it, but it was moist and flavorful. I may have overworked the meat, but I didn't like the way my mom's meatloaf crumbled like poorly kneaded bread. So the texture wasn't so bad.

                                                                                                          Here's my recipe (this is as much for me to refer back to as it is to share because I made this up on the fly)

                                                                                                          sweat 1 cup finely chopped aromatics with plenty of bacon fat and about 2 tablespoons of spices, cool mixture.

                                                                                                          beat 1/4 cup buttermilk into one egg

                                                                                                          add above ingredients plus 1/2 cup bread crumbs to 1lbs each beef and pork

                                                                                                          combine gently and smell your meat mixture to make sure it smells flavorful (I have seen chefs taste it but I just can't)

                                                                                                          insert probe thermometer and set it to go off at 120 degrees.

                                                                                                          while it's cooking make a glaze of balsamic and sugar (or if you have real balsamic by all means make a reduction)
                                                                                                          glaze every 10-15 degrees until the temp hits 160

                                                                                                          My kids, who aren't picky but, you know, still kids, liked this and ate it all. They'd never tried meatloaf.

                                                                                                          1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                            That sounds really good, especially the fennel and coriander.

                                                                                                            1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                              How does the buttermilk change the final outcome as opposed to using milk? Is it more tender or do you get a tangy flavor? It sounds like a technique to test out since I can use the rest of the carton to make buttermilk pie for dessert!

                                                                                                          2. Well, I may be a stinky old 'hound, but I'm a virgin to the DOTM threads . . . please be gentle?

                                                                                                            Disclaimer outta the way, I always thought of meatloaf as one of those dishes, like, say, chili, that was sort of a culinary "Mountain Jam" (or if you prefer "Take the 'A' Train"). Sure, there's a basic structure, but the magic comes from what you can make from the melody. I mean, you need some ground meat, a binder, some filler, and some flavorings, but shouldn't the cook be driven by some sorta feel for the audience, his/her influences and an awareness of what's on hand?

                                                                                                            For me, beef and turkey tend to be the initial chords I strike and the notes of gently sauteed garlic and onions always pepper the performance. Nevertheless, sometimes, ground pork or bison step upon the stage and their old playmate sausage wants to be heard - I get that.

                                                                                                            Thing is, shouldn't meatloaf be fun? Isn't it ok to add the "good" parts of a garden tomato that has bruises on the other side? Some habaneros? Maybe add some anchovy to the aromatics while they soften? Can't barbecue sauce replace ketchup? Ever add that last bit of Tuesday's marinara sauce?

                                                                                                            Way I see it, even temperature and cooking methods can be adopted. You can make the same meatloaf in the oven, with indirect heat on a grill, or in a smoker, and get three different dinners. Just play and keep playing. It's only Michael Lee Aday, after all (Hell, even "Bat Out of Hell" has a place for a solo).

                                                                                                            My question for you guys, however, is what temperature do you cook the loaf to? I can't bring myself to cook a beef loaf, for example, past 140, and that still makes my rare meat lovin' heart dull. I'll go to 160 for turkey, but even if it is partially ground dark meat, I get teary-eyed at the idea of an internal temp of 180. Please no lectures about the egg (I may still have my cherry, but I know the rules/fears), just let me know where you (honestly) top things out?

                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                              I've never taken the temp of a meatloaf. I just cook it for an hour at 350, which is probably way more than enough.

                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                Using a thermometer helped me. I was overcooking meatloaf, making sure the ground beef wouldn't give us, you know, and drying it out. Now I just go by the thermometer and the meatloaf is juicier (but done).

                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                  Mine's always juicy, to the point of almost falling apart (but not quite). Just lucky I guess ;-)

                                                                                                              2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                I was shooting for 165 (general safe temp), but missed badly. Luckily my PP meatloaf still moist due to the added ingredients even though it was 195 when I pulled it.

                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                  Here are the directions for three meatloaves I cook. Recipes all:
                                                                                                                  1.) With oven at 350F bake internal temp is about 145 degrees.
                                                                                                                  2.) With oven at 375F bake 45 minutes, covered. Remove foil, continue baking 10 minutes or til browned.
                                                                                                                  3.) With oven at 350F bake 1 hour.
                                                                                                                  Each of these rest for 10-ish minutes or so.

                                                                                                                  I agree that meatloaf is basically a blank canvas. As long as the necessary elements are present - ground meat, binder, aromatics, seasoning - one can add or subtract at will. I've done plenty of "Free Will" meatloaves as well, usually baking at 375F till temp reads about 150F.

                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                    I'm with you on IT, the lower the better. If I'm not eating a well done burger, why would I eat a well done meatloaf. 180??? Super blech. IMHO of course :)

                                                                                                                  2. I tend to agree with MGZ -- For me, meatloaf is made for improvisation, not recipes (although the recipes posted here look awfully tempting...) As for temp, though, I tend to make a really wet meatloaf and then cook it way longer than necessary. I've never had a problem with dryness.

                                                                                                                    Last night's meatloaf used a beef-lamb-turkey mix for the meat and TJ's pecan-raisin bread soaked in milk for the binder. Aromatics were sauteed red onion, celery and garlic (with fresh bay and rosemary sauteed along with, then pulled out before mixing in). Seasonings included ground cumin and coriander, nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon, horseradish mustard and a generous splash of steak sauce. 3 eggs. I made a glaze by dumping a jar of mango chutney in the blender with some steak sauce and brown sugar.

                                                                                                                    I thought it turned out really well. I really liked the texture added by the pecans and raisins in the bread (the raisins plumped up nicely as they cooked), although I don't think the BF was quite as big a fan of the crunchy bits. The glaze was perfect -- ketchup-like in sweetness and acidity, but with a spicy-fruity flavour that worked really well with the spices I used. I had originally intended to add some fresh jalapeno and some black olives, but I forgot. I still think that both would have tasted good. Looking forward to the sandwiches today.

                                                                                                                    1. So I tried out these meatloaf cupcakes tonight: http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/min...

                                                                                                                      Unfortunately I found them to be just so-so. A bit bland. I also wish I had thought to cook the onion and pepper beforehand (like I usually do with meatloaf), because they were still quite crunchy when I ate them. They'll still make for a fine lunch tomorrow, but I don't think they'll go into my arsenal anytime soon. They look cute though, they were done in my mini muffin pan, and I got 21 mini muffins out of the recipe. I also found the panko to be way overboard, I only used about half of it.

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                        Too bad as they do sound good. Agree about the panko. A friend used to make a meatloaf rollade with similar ingredients- he was the one who got me to think of meatloaf as party food as for years I made the same one usually on Thursday night as I was running out of groceries for the week.

                                                                                                                      2. Lots of interesting ideas here.

                                                                                                                        Perhaps this will inspire me to make meatloaf again. I do not like meatloaf (it's a textural issue with ground meat for me), but my husband loves it. About 3 years ago, before we were married, I made him a mashed potato stuffed meatloaf from several cobbled together recipes.

                                                                                                                        He STILL talks about this meatloaf, so I suppose that I should try to make it again. I only remember it as a total pain in the rear, and I still didn't like it. I didn't really think I would, but was hoping maybe the mashed potatoes would make it for me.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: jw615

                                                                                                                          If he liked mashed potato-stuffed meatloaf he would probably like Shepherd's Pie and it would be easier and quicker to make. Just put the meatloaf mixture in a baking dish, put mashed potatoes on top, and bake. And the meatloaf doesn't have to be a gourmet exercise to be good. In your food processor or blender put 1 egg, a glop of ketchup, and half each of an onion and a pepper. Puree them. Add them to a pound of ground beef with salt and enough commercial bread crumbs to bind (not too stiff). That's all. If you bake it as a loaf, mix some brown sugar with enough ketchup to barely bind it and add a few shakes of nutmeg and rub this on the outside of the meatloaf. Otherwise use the meat mixture to make Shepherd's Pie.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                            Except, Shepherds Pie has to be lamb. The beef version is Cottage Pie, not that it's a big deal really.

                                                                                                                        2. I recently made a free-form 50:50 beef and pork meatloaf in a cast iron skillet. My thinking was that the combination of oven temperature and radiant heat from the skillet would conspire to maximize the delicious crust one normally only finds on the end piece of a meatloaf. I was wrong.

                                                                                                                          Using the Alton Brown method, I blasted the meatloaf for 15 minutes at 425 degree to sear before reducing to 350 to bake for another hour and 15 minutes. The bottom of the meatloaf did get a nice finish and even a bit of caramelization where the glaze spilled over, but the temperature variation and cooking vessel did nothing to alter the texture of my meatloaf which was typically moist, but crustless.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                            JM, we use a technique that Rick Moonen author of Fish Without A Doubt uses. He get a cast iron skillet "screaming hot" by placing it under the broiler to heat up. Carefully take out the skillet and add your meatloaf, then back into the oven after setting the correct roasting temp. That might work for you.

                                                                                                                          2. Yesterday I made the meatloaf I've been thinking about since last summer, when a good friend gifted us a meatloaf meal after the birth of our baby.
                                                                                                                            It was moist and satisfying and came together quickly. It also seems like a pretty thrifty meal, so I will need to keep this recipe in my back pocket. Although I used high quality ground meat from around here. We are spoiled with the natural grocery we have within walking distance, they carry meat we'd usually have to get at a farmers market or direct from the source.
                                                                                                                            My friend texted me her recipe ages ago, but from that memory and my own desire to add veg and use up what I had in the crisper, this is what I did:

                                                                                                                            1 pound ground beef
                                                                                                                            1 pound ground turkey
                                                                                                                            1/2 pound ground pork
                                                                                                                            1/2 onion, diced fine
                                                                                                                            3 scallions, diced fine
                                                                                                                            2 ribs celery, inner stalks, diced fine
                                                                                                                            3 cups baby spinach
                                                                                                                            2 eggs
                                                                                                                            4 oz white cheddar, cubed into small pieces
                                                                                                                            1/2 packet matzoh ball mix
                                                                                                                            1 1/2 T BBQ sauce
                                                                                                                            1 T catsup
                                                                                                                            Sprinkling of dried oregano, crushed really well

                                                                                                                            Sautéed the onion and scallions in olive oil, seasoned and added water to avoid coloring. Threw in the spinach and cooked to wilt. Removed to cool.

                                                                                                                            Mixed my ground meats with all other ingredients, including sweated veg. I mixed everything all together, once, to avoid over-handling and then worried it was under seasoned.
                                                                                                                            I cooked off a tiny patty and it seemed fine, so I turned the whole thing into an oiled loaf pan.

                                                                                                                            Glazed top with a Stone Wall kitchen chile sauce I've been hoping to use up. It's kind of sweet and has pieces of onion in it (We got it to try to recreate a food memory my husband has for the upstate NY fish fry sandwich. It wasn't quite right and I'm so glad I could use it up!).

                                                                                                                            Baked at 350F for 70 minutes. It came out juicy and perfect. Not grey at all.
                                                                                                                            There was a good amount of fat pooled around the loaf which had pulled away from the sides of the pan. I let the meat rest for a good half hour before draining that away.

                                                                                                                            This was so easy and so good. Great meal to have in colder weather.

                                                                                                                            I didn't salt the actual meat when I combined everything, but I did salt the sautéed veg and there's obviously sodium in the ketchup, BBQ sauce, cheese and matzoh mixture (I didn't have breadcrumbs on hand).

                                                                                                                            1. I'm not really into Meatloaf, yes if someone else is going to make it I will eat it but I do not order it when out and I never cook it. I do sometimes enjoy meatballs. And right now I could go for Swedish Meatballs. So instead I was thinking a mini meatloaf or meat loaf Muffins with the Swedish Meatball sauce poured over when served.

                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: LEsherick2007

                                                                                                                                While I do make meatloaf every so often, I was thinking of taking a mix one might use for meatballs and baking it like meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                  I was thinking of making something a little lighter than usual but putting the half jar of puttanesca sauce on top to jazz it up. I'll let you know how it comes out!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                    That sounds really tasty, Coll!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                      I am so happy with my meatloaf! I did a lb of turkey and a lb of fatty chuck which probably gave out half its weight in rendered fat. To supplement that mix, I had some leftover quinoa/bulgar/chia to bind it all, just a half cup or so, rather than my usual oatmeal and Ritz. I made sure to season it well as I always do, and I am happy to say my husband did NOT know the difference; meanwhile I swear I lost a lb or two after eating it for a couple of days. The leftover jarred putanesca was so much better than the usual ketchup/BBQ topping, flavorful but more subtle without the vinegar tang. I may be making meatloaf a lot more in the future! My biggest issue up to now with meatloaf was the calories, this is so cool!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                        This sounds great. I've used bulgur in stuffed cabbage rolls to keep leaner meat moist and agree it totally works.
                                                                                                                                        Were there olives in your sauce? I'd get in trouble if those were detected, but maybe I could use a marinara instead.
                                                                                                                                        The turkey is completely unnoticed when mixed in in a 50:50 ratio. I wish I could do this with burgers but we eat them too rare.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                          Yes to the olives, I didn't really want them there but I was using up some leftover sauce. Luckily my husband likes salty so it worked for him. But using any kind of Italian suace instead of ketchup would be a big plus tastewise, to me. Not ready to do the whole meatball mix thing though ;-)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                    I plan on doing exactly that with the Chipotle Meatballs from Mexican Everyday. I think it'll make it on the menu next week so I'll report back :)

                                                                                                                                2. Quick question. We're have Prudhomme's meatloaf tonight. Do you serve it plain or with the optional Very Hot Cajun Sauce for Beef?

                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                    I only made the Cajun Sauce once to serve with the meatloaf. Don't think you really need it. As much as I love the meatloaf, I always cut back the amount of cayenne. Don't know if that makes me a wimp, but the basic flavor is wonderful and I don't want to kill it!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: BeachCookie107

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the advice, BeachCookie. Thanks to you, I didn't end up making the sauce but did put the full amount of cayenne in. I wanted to make the recipe as written the first time, and we all really like heat in our food. It was a lot of cayenne, but we agreed that it worked for us so I'll use the same amount next time.

                                                                                                                                      I agree that there really is no need for the sauce since the meat is so flavorful and moist as is, and it really might cover it up. I may do a glaze next time, though.

                                                                                                                                      Thanks to all who recommended this recipe. This is probably a tie for my favorite meatloaf along with Marcella Valladolid's Mexican Meatloaf. The chorizo and hint of chipotle and poblano peppers make that one pretty terrific, too. I think I'll alternate between the two.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                        The cold meatloaf sandwiches from the Prudhomme recipe were excellent with a little dijon on sourdough (French's mustard and some ketchup for my husband). Some sweet potato fries and onion rings were an indulgent but perfect accompaniment.

                                                                                                                                        I still have a little meatloaf left, and it's calling to me...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                          Yum! I can almost taste that cold meatloaf sandwich. I've been known to pan sear a leftover slice for a sandwich too.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BeachCookie107

                                                                                                                                            Huh, that's a great idea. I've only reheated in the microwave or oven. Pan searing would give a great crust.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: bear

                                                                                                                                          I highly recommend trying the sauce recipe at least once to see if your family likes it. It's an awesome spicy gravy, and while I agree the meatloaf doesn't NEED it per se, the gravy pairs fabulously with it. DH practically eats the stuff straight up with a spoon, like a soup. If you have Prudhomme's cookbook, the gravy goes with other dishes in there like his shepherd's pie, and I've also used it in non-Cajun meals like bangers & mash with gravy.

                                                                                                                                    2. My Asian-style meatloaf was dinner last night and it was a huge success. The mix consisted of: 1 lb grnd lamb & 1/2 lb grnd pork, Panko, garlic, scallions, ginger, cilantro, chili garlic sauce, egg, white pepper, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, bourbon. Glaze was: ketchup, Sriracha, Worcestershire. Baked covered at 375F for 45 min then uncovered and baked another 15 min. It rested 15 min before slicing. The result was a dense but tender loaf that held together perfectly, spicy and full of flavor. Very little to no fat w/o spillage. Simply delicious. Stir-fried kale was the side along with the almost obligatory steamed jasmine rice. There's plenty left for banh mi sandwiches on Saturday night.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                        I've never liked meatloaf, but this sounds amazing!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                          Thank you for the idea, Gio! I had some ground lamb in the fridge and made your meatloaf today with a few changes: used fresh bread crumbs and fish sauce, a little rum and sriracha in addition or instead of some of your ingredients. Turned out well and will make nice sandwiches later in the week.

                                                                                                                                        2. Meatloaf sandwiches, where have you been all my life? Sure I've had them at diners, but I'd never thought to make one for lunch with my own leftovers. Squishy white bread is a prerequisite. Experimentation has revealed that the perfect accompaniments are hot mustard, a crunchy-type lettuce and tomato matter of some sort (I used pickled greens). Cold meatloaf is fine, room temperature even better.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                            IN some ways, cold meatloaf is terrine-like. But you're right, simple white bread is the way to go. I like sour dough, since the flavor is assertive enough to stand up to the meatloaf without interfering. And a spicy mustard is a must for me.

                                                                                                                                          2. My meatloaf, no peppers, no ketchup or tomato sauce, goes something like this:
                                                                                                                                            1lb. ground beef
                                                                                                                                            1lb. ground pork
                                                                                                                                            1 large diced shallot
                                                                                                                                            2 cloves minced garlic
                                                                                                                                            2 slices diced pancetta
                                                                                                                                            1 slice white bread soaked in milk and squeezed out then shredded
                                                                                                                                            chopped parsley
                                                                                                                                            1 egg

                                                                                                                                            Mix it together, a little salt and pepper
                                                                                                                                            Form into loaf on baking sheet
                                                                                                                                            Top loaf with 2-3 thin slices of pancetta

                                                                                                                                            Bake at 350 for about an hour -- I do use a probe to 150.

                                                                                                                                            I usually reduce some beef stock with a garlic clove and thyme, then add to a roux for an easy gravy -- sliced mushrooms optional.

                                                                                                                                            While the loaf rests, I'll degrease the drippings and add to the gravy. Peel off the pancetta, dice it and add to gravy.

                                                                                                                                            Serve with mashed potatoes and a salad or greens.

                                                                                                                                            While the leftovers are good cold, I also like to brown leftovers in slices in the cast iron skillet.

                                                                                                                                            1. I love meatloaf, hot with mashed potatoes and peas, cold on a soft white bread as a sandwich, or snuck in bites standing over the sink. I rarely use recipes, but since discovering this the one constant in my meatloaf at home is crushed white cheddar Cheese-its.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. The little brown-eyed girl and I don't eat a lot of meat loafs. Maybe once every two or three months. ~ Last one, if I remember right was:

                                                                                                                                                1 lb home ground chuck.
                                                                                                                                                1 lb Smoked Boudin, Casing removed.
                                                                                                                                                1 large onion.
                                                                                                                                                1/2 Large Pepper
                                                                                                                                                1 Small piece of celery.
                                                                                                                                                3 or 4 toes garlic.
                                                                                                                                                Few Saltines and Ritz crumbled fine.
                                                                                                                                                Two yard eggs
                                                                                                                                                Two or three cap fulls of 'Wooster Sauce'
                                                                                                                                                Few Shots of Tabasco
                                                                                                                                                Handful of green onion and parsley.
                                                                                                                                                Black, white and red pepper.
                                                                                                                                                Salt

                                                                                                                                                Hand smashed and cooked free form on a broiling pan.
                                                                                                                                                Hard to say if it was better fresh after Church, or sliced thick and toasted on a griddle before making a sandwich the next day.

                                                                                                                                                1. OK. my first posting on this board. I'll bite. Mom made lousy meatloaf. Dad's mom made great meatloaf but wouldn't share the recipe. I've, ummm, IMPROVISED with this version - it comes out light. I keep trying to get more garlic in there, though.

                                                                                                                                                  1 lb ground meat [can be beef, but i prefer pork+beef+veal]; will also add a link or two of italian sausage if i have it.
                                                                                                                                                  a couple of mushrooms, finely diced
                                                                                                                                                  1 zucchini, shredded
                                                                                                                                                  a reasonable sized carrot, shredded
                                                                                                                                                  1 or two celery ribs, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                  a small onion, finely chopped [sometimes i'll add a little finely chopped red pepper, but not always]
                                                                                                                                                  garlic. - 3 cloves ARE NOT enough
                                                                                                                                                  about 1 c grated romano
                                                                                                                                                  1 can chick peas, well mashed [dump the liquid and rinse well]
                                                                                                                                                  an egg [maybe 2]
                                                                                                                                                  parsley - about 1 c dry
                                                                                                                                                  bread crumbs - i use less than a cup - and these can be dry bread crumbs soaked in a little milk or stale bread that's been soaked in milk or water and then squeezed dry and chopped.
                                                                                                                                                  salt pepper
                                                                                                                                                  mozzarella
                                                                                                                                                  sliced salami or ham
                                                                                                                                                  something tomato-y [sauce, ketchup, whatever]

                                                                                                                                                  ok. take all those veggies and garlic and saute them gently until they're soft. make sure they're not oozing water. I usually let them cool while i assemble everything else

                                                                                                                                                  After you mash the chickpeas in a bowl, add the veggies and mix VERY well. add the meat, egg[s], cheese, parsley, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and mix well

                                                                                                                                                  pat half the mixture onto a foil-lined cookie sheet [we never used loaf pans]. put a layer of ham or salami down the center, then top with a layer of mozzarella. Grandma sometimes added boiled eggs along the top of it, but i didn't like that]. top with the rest of the meat mixture, and seal well.

                                                                                                                                                  Bake at 350 until it's done. about halfway through cooking, you can top it with your tomato-y whatever. I don't always do that.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jiffypop

                                                                                                                                                    Grandma may have used garlic powder. It has fallen out of fashion, unfortunately, but 50 yrs ago it was THE form of garlic in many an American home.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Is it better to add salt to the meat mix,or on the outside of the meatloaf after forming.Is there a difference? When making hamburger some say not to salt the inside.I always salt the outside.They are both ground meat.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                      There many ways to create a burger. If the burger I'm making is simply ground meat with no seasonings I form the burger then salt & pepper the top and bottom before grilling.

                                                                                                                                                      If I'm making a burger with a definite flavor profile I'll mix the meat with herbs and spices - much like a meatloaf - then form the patties and grill.

                                                                                                                                                      Meatloaf does need to have all the herbs and spices, including S & P, incorporated all through the mix not just on the outside.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                        Plus, if you don't salt the whole meatloaf you're only getting salt on a very small surface area, comparatively.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Cook's Illustrated Glazed All-Beef Meatloaf

                                                                                                                                                      For Valentine's Day dinner last night my husband requested what is, in his opinion, the pinnacle of romantic cuisine. You guessed it...meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                      I dithered between this recipe and the 72 Market recipe in the New Basics, but decided to try the CI recipe (from More Best Recipes) because I hadn't tried it before. We both really liked it; it reminded me of the meatloaf my Mom made. I'll have to ask her if she used all beef. The recipe used powdered gelatin to replace the use of ground veal, and I thought it worked great. The only minor hiccup was I could not get my frozen Monterey jack cheese to crumble "into a coarse powder," so I ended up basically mincing it and that seemed to work fine.

                                                                                                                                                      I served it with Ina Garten's crispy English potatoes (from Foolproof) and pan roasted asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                      We also really enjoy Ina Garten's turkey meatloaf, though I always cut down the recipe (she calls for using 5 lbs of turkey!) and it's still always way too much. I end up freezing some. But the CI all-beef meatloaf was a nice change.

                                                                                                                                                      1. One of the meatloaf recipes I like has roasted vegetables in the mix! I base mine on the following link with a few changes.
                                                                                                                                                        I'm not a catsup fan so I use steak sauce instead. I saute the onion and substitute a jarred roasted eggplant, zucchini and pepper mix that I've purchased at Costco.

                                                                                                                                                        This makes a delicious moist meatloaf!

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                        1. As promised above, tonight I took the Chipotle Meatballs recipe from Mexican Everyday (which happens to be one of my favorite recipes of all time), and turned them into a loaf. Here's a link to the recipe: http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/chipot...

                                                                                                                                                          I use ground turkey instead of pork. Otherwise I make no changes to the recipe. I've never been a fan of meatloaf cooked in a loaf pan so for this one, I freeformed it in a 13x9 pyrex. I baked for 30 minutes, which was probably too long as it was plenty cooked (although it's still a very moist loaf because of the bacon). Then I dumped the sauce on top of it and baked for another 15 so the sauce could thicken up. I served on top of brown rice, and topped with more sauce.

                                                                                                                                                          Delicious as usual! I think I almost like the meatloaf method a little better, only because I don't have to stand there rolling meatballs :) Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch the rest of the week!

                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                            I ADORE these meatballs - I will definitely try making them as meatloaf next time. I'll bet the leftovers would be amazing on a buttery toasted torta roll with some avocado and queso fresco, too. Fabulous transformation!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                              I know they are so good! I was so excited to eat my leftovers for lunch today too... and excited to do it tomorrow and Friday too!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                              What is the difference between meatloaf made free form versus the loaf pan? Also the recipe you posted is happening very soon for me.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                Some of my meatloaf recipes are too loose or too moist to bake free form and a loaf pan works best. I also like a loaf pan for the ease of uniform slices for sandwiches and freezing.

                                                                                                                                                                If the mix is sturdy enough I do like to make it free form and place it on a rack. Cuts out some calories from baking in all the fat...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I make it flatter so it cooks faster, so that's probably the main reason I like it! But, I also like that the grease kind of drains itself off when done on a baking pan vs a loaf pan... I feel like in a loaf pan the grease just sort of sits there, depending on the type of meat of course.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the explanation. I wasn't sure if perhaps it might alter the texture. As you can see from my other posts, the perfect meatloaf crust is kind of my white whale.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not a big crusty person so that's probably why I like the freeform better :)

                                                                                                                                                                      I will say I don't see the loaf pan working for making a loaf version of the Chipotle Meatballs, since there wouldn't be room for all the lovely sauce to surround it.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf is really good. The last time I made it, I bacon wrapped it and cooked it on the smoker. It was very good! I cut down the recipe because it calls for 5 pounds of ground turkey. I think I use about 2 pounds and reduced the rest of the ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                1. Voting thread for March DOTM is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/966570

                                                                                                                                                                  Please come over and vote!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I made a Thanksgiving inspired turkey meat loaf a few weeks ago. Basically it was an uncooked stuffing and chopped cranberries mixed into the grind.

                                                                                                                                                                    I moistened croutons and a bit of torn stale bread with chicken stock. Sauteed onion and finely chopped celery, added to the bread mix. Seasoned with my usual stuffing herbs: marjoram, sage and thyme plus s/p. Roughly chopped a cup or so of fresh cranberries. Added the stuffing to 2 lbs ground turkey until the texture seemed right. Added enough cranberries until it looked like each bite would have a few bits.

                                                                                                                                                                    It turned out pretty good! The cranberries really didn't add much - I was hoping for a little burst of tart which didn't materialize. They did add a little color. I think using a cranberry relish would better achieve the flavor I was aiming for. The sage became stronger in leftovers so I would bump it back a tad next time. The stuffing component seemed to increase the baking time.

                                                                                                                                                                    This was tasty hot with mashed potatoes, cranberry relish and turkey gravy - a little taste of Thanksgiving. It also made very good sandwiches, garnished with cranberry relish or chutney.

                                                                                                                                                                    It was a nice variation from my usual meat loaves and I will make it again with a few tweaks.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Tonight will be our house meatloaf. For years I made this at the end of the week when we were running low on groceries. A pound of ground chuck is combined with ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, minced (or freeze dry) onion, garlic salt, black pepper and an egg and bound with fresh bread crumbs (usually the heel of the whole wheat loaf we used for sandwiches). It gets baked at 350 in a Pyrex loaf pan and is usually accompanied with baked potatoes. This makes a great cold meatloaf sandwich the next day. Mine.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. March DOTM is posted here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967251

                                                                                                                                                                        We'll be stuffing pasta and considering that the winter for those of us in the northern parts is not letting go, it is a very welcome dish.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I made the Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook last week. We loved them! The recipe included carrot and celery which I don't usually put in my regular meatloaf. The tomato glaze is very tasty and made from vegetable oil, tomato paste, cider vinegar, honey, worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. I will definitely be making them again!