Thursday, October 31, 2013

Let's Talk Meatloaf

image

The quest to expand my cooking horizons continues. Ya'll can come along for the ride, if only just for laughs at the novice cook.

On day one I made garlic cheddar chicken, on day two I made crockpot taco soup, and last night we had meatloaf.

My son Peter, who lives to eat though he's slim, loved the garlic cheddar chicken and said, "Can we have this more often?"

Peter and my husband, who also lives to eat though he's slim (how do they get away with that?), thought the taco soup was too fiery. Secretly, I loved the fire.

Already in my arsenal I had a wonderful upside-down meatloaf recipe that included oatmeal along with the usual suspects, baked on top of a tomato sauce/brown sugar base. After baking, I would flip it right side up to reveal the tangy, sweet topping, just like the pineapple upside-down cake phenomena. It was delicious and one of my favorite meals.

But alas, the oatmeal texture made my son Paul gag, literally. He's got a texture problem that really puts a damper on things, but I'm choosing to ignore it for now, hoping it goes away. He'll be ten this Sunday and it's time for him to brave uncharted culinary waters.

Anyway, for a couple years I stopped making meatloaf.

Enter a new recipe and a new generation of meatloaf lovers. All four kids looked at it doubtfully (meatloaf ain't the prettiest beast, after all), but in spite of themselves, they liked it. 

The thing is, this recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat and 4 eggs! I kept taking it out of the oven, expecting it to done, but still, it seemed too moist inside.

I enlisted my husband's help in deciding if the beast was actually done or not. He looked at it, tasted it, and commented, "I've tasted some dried out meatloaf in my time. Believe me, moisture in a meatloaf is a positive thing."

My own opinion is this: Extra moisture in a meatloaf is a positive thing when you're warming it for lunch the next day. Otherwise, cut some of those eggs, for heaven's sake! I did a search and found that overwhelmingly, the standard rule is 1 egg per pound of meat.

I will write this out with all the eggs, but you make your own decision as to cutting them. I'm going to make it again with three eggs, and then two eggs, and decide which combination works best.

Overall, a very tasty meatloaf with no offending textures to bother the kids.

Egg-Loaded Meatloaf (not the real title of course)

Ingredients

2 pounds ground meat (Combinations of meat give the best flavor. I prefer a lean loaf, so I use 93/7 ground turkey and/or beef)

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (make your own breadcrumbs for a more homemade flavor)

1/4 of a large onion, or 2 T onion flakes

2-3 cloves garlic, or 1 T garlic powder, or 2 1/2 to 3 tsp. jarred garlic

1 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T steak sauce

1 cup ketchup (or 8 oz. tomato sauce for less sugar, salt, and a more homemade flavor)

1 tsp. salt (I suggest leaving this out because of the salt content in the steak sauce and Worcestershire)

1-2 tsp. black pepper

1-2 tsp. dry mustard

In a 9 x 15 baking dish, combine all ingredients to form a loaf. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 - 60 minutes, or until juices run clear. Top will be slightly crispy but the inside will be moist.

Should you already have a similar recipe and want something new, here is my recipe for Upside-Down Meatloaf, from Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely.

Upside-Down Meatloaf

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup ketchup

1 1/4 pounds extra-lean ground beef

1 3/4 cups oats

3/4 cups buttermilk (or 3/4 cup whole milk)

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 onion, chopped

1/4 tsp. ginger

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 5 x 9 inch loaf pan.

On the bottom of the pan, press brown sugar, then spread ketchup over the sugar.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Make a loaf out of the mixture and place it carefully on top of the sugar/ketchup mixture in the loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until juices run clear. Turn meatloaf over onto a platter and serve.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Growing up I id not like meatloaf. In fact when we were visiting my parents this summer something was said about meatloaf and my mom commented to the kids that they probably don't eat it because I don't like it. I have come to enjoy it. I won't go as much to say love it. I think a moist meatloaf is the key for me.