Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meatloaf - It's What's for Dinner

Did you know there are almost as many recipes for meatloaf out there as there are people who have ever made meatloaf? I was so amused today searching for meatloaf recipes to make for dinner. I know not everyone is a fan of the humble American food staple of ground meat mixed with vegetables and/or carbohydrate, patted together and baked as a loaf, but I am personally a fan of a good meatloaf. I was firmly in the non-meatloaf eating camp (I can't tell you how many recipe reviews today I read that started with "I don't really like meatloaf but...") until my early 20s. My only experience up to that point was a peek at a fresh-from-the-oven loaf swimming in its own grease...YUCK. Then I had one that was made with very lean beef, chock full of chopped vegetables, and spiced up with a perfect blend of seasonings. Ever since then I've been searching for Our Family's Recipe for meatloaf. I've tried several: a Tex-Mex version made with salsa, a Cheeselover's version made with (obviously) plenty of cheese, a Barbecue-flavored meatloaf, but still haven't found one that I wanted to make more than twice. A couple of weeks ago I brought home a ready-made meal from Central Market that had a glazed meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli, and fresh rolls. Would you believe Miss P readily ate a small amount of everything? I was happy all evening after she put down that meal. So today I decided to try to reproduce the experience. I went on the search for a glazed meatloaf and was promptly overwhelmed by all of the results. I went with the first one that didn't call for anything I didn't already have in the kitchen. It turned out really well and was delicious with a side of roasted cauliflower. Miss P ate about 5 bites and then decided she'd rather be entertained that eat. I have high hopes for trying again with leftovers!

I like meatloaf because:
I can use ground beef from my Father-in-law's ranch. It's very lean, from grass-fed cattle, no added hormones, etc.
It's easy
It's inexpensive
It's healthy (ok, not if you make the Cheeselover's version)
It tastes good
There is a good chance Miss Picky will eat it
There is a 100% chance Zeke and I will eat it
The leftovers taste great in a toasty sandwich or wrapped in a hot tortilla

Here is the recipe for a good standard glazed meatloaf:
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
15 saltine crackers, finely crushed
2 eggs
3/4 C milk
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 C ketchup
1/4 C brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients other than the glaze in a large mixing bowl. Form mixture into a loaf and pat into a 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, making sure a meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Halfway through the baking time put the glaze on the meatloaf and return it to the oven. See if your picky eaters like it too!


  1. You know, after hearing how Moriah likes pancakes, steak, and mac n' cheese, I'm starting to think that you're feeding her all wrong. See, you're trying to feed her delicious, wholesome, nutritious foods but your daughter has more of a "Joe Dirt" appetite. Have you ever tried feeding her Cheese Whiz on a pork rind? Or maybe you could let her snap into a Slim Jim. And I'm sure she would love some Mountain Dew in her sippy. I think you need to shop less at Central Market and more at the nearest gas station.

  2. I need to get in an order from your FIL's ranch! What a great connection.

    Meatloaf is one of my MIL's specialties, as you might imagine. I dared to make it for them once, and she thought that was pretty bold of me! LOL!

    Funny, I was just thinking about meatloaf today. Hmmm ...