Meatloaf has a reputation in the food world of being not quite as prestigious as other forms of meat, and I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe the singer Meatloaf ruined it for the food? There’s no musical artist (and I’m using that term loosely) called Meatball, and everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs, which are nearly the same thing. When you first think of meatloaf, you probably revert back to childhood and think “Mom, meatloaf AGAIN?” Well, guess what? You’re grown up now and meatloaf is delicious if made and seasoned correctly.
My least favorite part of making meatloaf is mixing it together by hand because, let’s face it, it’s gross. I’ve always had an aversion to getting my hands dirty or slimy. That should tell you how much I enjoy eating it; I’ll even endure that process.
There’s a lot of debate about what meats are best to mix together in a good meatloaf. Ground beef is a given and I’ve mixed it with pork, veal, and lamb in past experiments. All variations of it were good, but I usually go with pork simply because it’s much cheaper than veal or lamb.
There are a lot of versions of meatloaf out there, but I invented my own recipe years ago and it’s simpler than most. For one thing, I don’t use onions. Maybe that’s why people disliked their mom’s meatloaf so much; most recipes call for onions, and I despise onions, so I don’t subject myself or my husband to them in any of my dishes. We made it to adulthood, damnit, and we’re NOT EATING ANY GODDAMN ONIONS!
To make my meatloaf, just add your meats to a large mixing bowl (I use 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of ground pork), throw in one egg as a binder, about a half cup of seasoned breadcrumbs, and season liberally with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and a bit of seasoned salt for good measure. I also like to add some Parmesan cheese. Mix it all together by hand until combined. I use a loaf pan and bake it uncovered for about an hour and 20 minutes at 375, or until it’s 160 degrees inside. At the 40 minute mark, I pull it out of the oven, drain some of the juices, and top it with some variety of red pasta sauce, then put it back in the oven so it forms a wonderful glaze on top. A lot of people use ketchup, but I think pasta sauce gives it more of a flavor profile. What can I say, I like to shake it up in my kitchen and do my own thing.
While I’m waiting for the meatloaf to bake, I start on my mashed potatoes (always made from real potatoes, never those bullshit potato flakes in a box), and I steam my green beans in the microwave when everything else is nearly ready. Also, I drink a lot of wine during this time. So yes, I cook with wine, but I very rarely add it to the food. The wine is there as seasoning for the cook as she prepares a beautiful dinner for her family after working hard as an entrepreneur all day.
This meatloaf turned out perfectly tasty and the hubby loves it! I like to add more sauce to the top when serving. Bonus tip: the leftovers make great sandwiches!