Easy Meatloaf Recipe

The rain has set in here in Portland and yesterday seemed to be especially blustery, there was even  a tornado about an hour away in Longview, WA! I love the fall where I get to start wearing boots and scarfs, get cozy with a hot cup of tea and read a good book (if I didn’t have 3 little ones running around all over this might actually happen more often).

I was watching some cook off show on Netflix with the hubby earlier this week and one of the things they had to make was meatloaf, one of my favorite comfort foods! I use this great recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, Third Edition, which we purchased at Costco a couple of years ago. I follow the recipe pretty close but sometimes I improvise where needed.

All American Meatloaf

(How I changed it is italicized)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil – I used a Mediterranean blend oil cause that’s what I had
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced – I use 4, we like garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus extra as needed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard – I use 3 teaspoons of Trader Joes Garlic Aoili Mustard Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire – I use 3 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco – I didn’t use this
  • 2 lbs meatloaf mix (mixture of beef, pork and/or veal) – I use ground beef and pork
  • 2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers or 1 1/3 cups fresh breadcrumbs – I use 1 1/4 cups panko
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley – I used 1 teaspoon dry since I didn’t have any freshMeatloaf1

Directions

1.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and Tabasco (plus dried thyme if you are using it) together.

3. Mix the meatloaf mix, crackers, parsley, sauteed onion mixture, and egg mixture until evenly blended and the mixture doesn’t stick to the bowl (if the mixture sticks, add additional milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it no longer sticks).Meatloaf2

4. Turn the meat mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet and shape into a 9 by 5-inch loaf. Brush with half of the ketchup mixture (I don’t usually use half, I just brush on what I need cause I like to have left over sauce to add when its all done). Bake the loaf for 45 minutes.Meatloaf3

5. Brush the loaf with the remaining ketchup mixture and continue to make until the center of the loaf measures 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Where I inserted the thermometer the juices leaked out which kinda sucked but then I decided to make gravy with them! I don’t really have a recipe for that since I threw it together but it was basically this:

  • Juices from meat loaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1-2 cups broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire

1. Melt butter and juices in pan of med-high heat, simmer for a couple of minutes

2. whisk in flour and simmer for a couple more minutes, will get clumpy and paste like

3. slowly add in 1 cup of broth, mixing with the whisk until smooth

4. add in milk, let simmer while stirring with whisk

5. add the rest and if you prefer it to be thinner add a little bit of broth at a time (to thicken up let simmer on low continuing to stir)

I used to be so scared of making gravy but my husband loves biscuits and gravy so I make it a lot and have really come to know how to improvise. I know that I need an equal amount of fat to flour, i.e. 3 tbls butter (or drippings from meat) to 3 tbls flour and then about 1.5 – 2 cups of liquid (preferably stock).

It was delicious! We ate it with garlic mashed potatoes (made by my hubby while I fed the baby) and my oldest even wanted more! I was so eager to dig in I forgot to take a picture of it before I started!meatloaf4

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