Comfort foods – those foods that fill you up, make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, remind you of years past. Oh, and are delicious as well, of course. Sometimes you crave these culinary reminders of the past, and one of my favorites is meatloaf.
Now, I know that meatloaf can be a polarizing subject. Some people just don’t like it, because of texture, taste or other reasons. Others love it. I’m firmly in that latter camp. That said, meatloaf can be made with a pretty wide varieties of recipes, and the final product can have the same amount of variation. Some are moist, some are so dry that they absolutely need that gravy that’s frequently ladled over it.
My meatloaf comes from the exact place that you’d expect a meatloaf recipe to come from – Mom. Actually, from Grandma to Mom to me. But that said, I bet this isn’t your mother’s meatloaf, as they say! I’ve always found this to be moister and zestier than any other meatloaf recipe I’ve seen. No gravy needed – it’s great on its own!
In transparency, the ingredients are store-bought and some of the flavor comes from pre-mixed flavors like Lipton Onion Soup mix. But the flavors and moisture come together to make this meatloaf just right.
First thing’s first, the meatloaf starts with your choice of meat. I use half ground beef (not super fatty, not super lean – I go for about 85% or 90% lean) and half ground veal. I always find this at my trusty butcher, if you can’t find the veal in a supermarket. I put them in a large bowl with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to enhance the flavor.
In a second bowl is where the magic happens. This is where I mix up the eggs, ketchup, marinara sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soup mix, and corn flake crumbs. Mix these together well, as this mix will both provide the favor oomph (especially the Worcestershire – that gives a great zing) as well as bind the meatloaf together so it doesn’t crumble.
When you mix the sauce mix into the meat, this is when it’s time to get your hands dirty. You’ll want to ensure that the beef, veal, and sauce mixture are thoroughly combined. I really mix with my whole hands (make sure they’re clean first!) kneading and squeezing between my fingers.
Once the ingredients are combined, press them together into a big ball within your mixing bowl. It’s time to transfer it onto a baking dish and shape it into a loaf. I should note that I don’t use a loaf pan; instead, I use a Pyrex baking pan. This lets some of the extra fat drip away from the meatloaf during baking.
So grease your pan (I use cooking spray) and place your big ball of deliciousness in the center. Hand shape it into a rectangular loaf about 2-3 inches tall; It shouldn’t be coming too close to any of the edges of the pan.
Now, it’s time for a glaze. In a small bowl (you can clean and reuse the bowl you mixed the sauce in if you want), combine the extra ketchup, marinara, and Worcestershire sauces. Mix them together with a small basting brush, and generously brush the glaze over the entire surface of the meatloaf. Make sure you cover the top, sides, and ends.
Place the baking pan into the preheated oven, and off you go to do a bit of cleaning, cook your side dishes (rice pilaf perhaps? or you can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes!). After about 40 minutes remove it from the oven; you’ll see a lot of fat has dripped away from the meatloaf. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Once rested, slice the meatloaf and serve!
This has always been a favorite recipe of mine, so I hope you enjoy. I also sometimes tweak this and make a BBQ Meatloaf; stay tuned, I’ll share that one in a separate post. But let me know what you think…and if you have any special meatloaf recipes/ingredients of your own!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground veal
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons ketchup, divided
- 6 tablespoons marinara sauce, divided
- 1 (9 ounce) packet Lipton onion mushroom dry soup mix
- 1⁄3 cup corn flake crumbs
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In large bowl, combine ground beef, ground veal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- In smaller bowl, beat the eggs.
- Add to the eggs, in order: 3 tbsp ketchup, 3 tbsp marinara, soup mix, Corn Flake crumbs (use bread crumbs if you like, but these are so good!), 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Whisk together well.
- Add sauce mix to meat mix in larger bowl. Work completely together by hand (yes, you'll get dirty!).
- In a baking pan, shape meat into a loaf shape, not too thick (maybe 2 inches or so tall off the sheet).
- In another bowl, mix remaining ketchup, marinara sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Brush over entire outside of meatloaf, including sides and ends.
- Bake for about 40 minutes.
- Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting.