Posted by: kriscdub | September 26, 2011

My Meatloaf

 

Meatloaf is not the most glamourous of meals. I’m sure that someone somewhere has created a meatloaf that is somehow classy and elegant, but this is not that meatloaf. In fact, I’m not totally certain that I would want that meatloaf. You see, meatloaf is the epitome of comfort food. It should evoke memories of family meals and childhood, not sophistication. Although if there were a meatloaf that could do both of those things, I might be impressed. In any case, this is not that meatloaf either. This is a combination of a few meatloaf recipes, but mostly my parents’ meatloaf recipes, and it’s covered in ketchup, for god’s sake. It is also an experiment in how many times I can write the word “meatloaf” without getting grossed out. Mostly, though, it is delicious.

It doesn’t take much to make a meatloaf, and almost all of the ingredients can be substituted or tinkered with in some way. For example, my dad usually uses prepared Italian breadcrumbs, while my mom sometimes uses panko. I like to make my own breadcrumbs from whatever bread I have around the house by just running it through my little food processor for a bit. This time, however, I had some leftover homemade Italian breadcrumbs from when I made pork chops last week, so that’s what I used.

You can also use a mixture of ground meats depending on your preference. Here I use two pounds of lean ground beef, but you can also mix in ground veal, pork, turkey, or whatever else you have available.

Drop whatever ground meats you’ve chosen into a large mixing bowl. The only large mixing bowl I currently own is my KitchenAid bowl, so I’m using that for everything right now. Moving will do that to you. Whisk together two eggs in a separate bowl.

Dump in your bread crumbs, cheese, chili powder, seasoned salt, pepper (not pictured) and eggs. This is very much a dumping recipe. I’ve given approximate measurements, but you can adjust the amounts based on what you like. I like my meatloaf to barely hold together, so I don’t use a lot of breadcrumbs or eggs. If you prefer yours a bit sturdier, add another egg or two and another half cup or so of bread crumbs, as well as whatever spices smell good to you today. In other words, dump in whatever you please.

Now here comes the fun part.

Make sure you’ve washed your hands and under your nails very well, then mash your hand in there and start squeezing and stirring everything together. Turn everything over a few times to get to what’s on the bottom of the bowl, and keep going until there are no more clumps of crumbs or spices or until your hand gets too cold and falls off. I take my ring off for this step so that it doesn’t get raw meat stuck in the little crevices.

Form the meat into a loaf shape. Or really, whatever shape you want. You could have a meatfootball or a meatstar or a meatman, though I doubt some of those would cook very evenly.

I bake my meatloaf on a broiling pan with a sheet of tin foil lining the bottom to keep it from getting too messy. If you don’t have a broiling pan, go for something that will let the fat drain, like a roasting pan or a cooling rack placed in a jelly roll pan.

Now wash your hands again! I should note at this point that Jamie took the pictures for this post. I didn’t want to get meat all over my camera, and I’ve been teaching him how to cook now that it’s just us living together. That’s two birds.

Now it’s time to make the sauce. Half a cup of ketchup and a tablespoon each of mustard and brown sugar is a good place to start. I ended up adding a bit more ketchup and brown sugar this time.

Taste as you go and see what you think it needs. Too tangy? Add a bit more sugar. Too sweet? More mustard.

Coat the entire meatloaf in sauce. I use a fork to “paint” it on the sides after pouring it over the top.

The sauce is a little more orange than it looks in this picture, and a bit less bright red. But it gets brighter red in the oven, and then it really looks like it’s just covered in ketchup. Bake it in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and 15 minutes.

See? Radioactive red. But delicious! Cut into the middle and make sure that there’s no pink left. Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy!

Meatloaf

2 pounds lean ground beef

2 eggs

1/2 cup breadcrumbs, about three slices

1 cup shredded cheese (I use a Mexican mix)

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon mustard

Place ground meat in a large mixing bowl. Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl, then dump eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, chili powder, and pepper. With clean hands, mix these ingredients together until there are no clumps left. Shape into a loaf, place on a broiling pan lined with tin foil. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard into a sauce. Adjust sauce to taste and spread evenly over loaf. Bake at 350 for 60-90 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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