Nothing says homemade comfort food like meatloaf. It’s not the sexiest dinner — you probably wouldn’t make it if company was coming to dinner. It’s not the prettiest dinner — sometimes it falls apart. But, in my humble opinion, that’s what makes meatloaf, meatloaf.
However, it is the perfect meal on chilly fall days — when there’s a bite in the air. It’s the most comforting meal — when you have a “bad case of the Mondays”. It’s one of those meals that fills your tummy and warms your soul.
Ahhhh…meatloaf! Here’s the recipe I like to use. But a word of caution before you read on…this is one of the recipes that I make from memory. I don’t really follow a recipe. I judge by sight and feel to tell when I’ve got it just right. It actually took me a while to get this recipe down on paper. I kept forgetting to measure and write down exactly what I’m doing.
On to the recipe…
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 slices of white bread
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over bread and let sit for a few minutes so it absorbs the milk. In a large bowl combine the beef, milk-soaked bread, onion, garlic, cheese, eggs, parsely, salts and pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on the baking sheet.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir until combined. Spread 1/2 of the mixture on the top of the meatloaf.
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Use the remaining glaze for dipping.
Is it a Keeper?
I’ve been making this recipe since I’ve been married and have been tweaking it as I go. Here are a couple of tips and tricks I’ve learned on my journey:
- I put the white bread (just plain old white bread, nothing fancy) in my food chopper and pulverize it into soft bread crumbs. This way I don’t get big chunks of bread throughout my meatloaf.
- If you don’t like big pieces of onion in your meatloaf, but would still like the flavor, cut the onion into chunks and give it a spin in your food chopper. This will give you very finely minced onion (and garlic too!).
- Be careful not to over-mix the beef. It will make your meatloaf tough.
- Use can mix the ground beef mixture in your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment.
- If the ground beef mixture seems too dry, try adding more milk. Start with 1 Tbsp and continue adding until you have the desired consistency.
- Always line your baking sheet with non-stick foil! Make sure you leave enough to go over the edges — this will make clean up a breeze!
- Don’t have 45 minutes to an hour to wait? Evenly distribute the beef mixture into the cups of a muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees!
I love the flavor of this meatloaf. The onion, the garlic and fresh parsely all add great layers of flavor. This is one of those recipes where you can try new flavors too!
My mother always added fennel seeds — I’m not a fan so I don’t. You can add oregano or a dried Italian seasoning if you want, too. I’ve even had it with bacon wrapped around it and sometimes, I stuff it with cheese.
But, trust me, this recipe is great just the way it is. The perfect comfort food.
I usually serve this with my homemade mac and cheese — a match made in heaven. What’s your favorite side dish for meatloaf?
Also, be sure to check out some of the other great websites and blogs that I’ve found. Their links are to the right —>