Meatloaf. An American classic. How to make ground beef into a non-sandwich entree.

If you can get a good price on ground beef meatloaf is a great option. But why not mix it up a little? I have several meatloaf recipes I use to keep some variety going.

Basic meatloaf is simple. Meat, a binder to keep it from falling apart, a filler to help hold those tasty juice flavors in, and seasonings. The correct method for making a meatloaf is to dump all the ingredients in a BIG bowl and use both hands to mix it up. When cooking it, you’re going for an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees. Two pounds of ground beef will make a meatloaf big enough for my family with leftovers for sandwiches.

I never measure for meatloaf, but my basic recipe goes something like this:

Basic Meatloaf

  • 1 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

I find it cooks faster flat than in a loaf shape, so I use a round cake pan and cook it at 400 degrees for about an hour. Drain off the juices. My loaf shaped meatloaf pan with the neeto rack to let the fat drain off will take almost two hours and I’ll cook it at a lower temperature, 350 degrees, to keep it from burning.

Auntie’s Variation: Add frozen mixed veggies to the meatloaf!

I feel the need to mention that a lot of “traditional” meatloaf recipes use catsup. I don’t care for catsup or tomato sauce in my meatloaf, although I’m not opposed to it being used as a condiment. I’ve also seen milk and cracker crumbs in meatloaf recipes. However your mom made it is just fine!

This next recipe is what I remember of a meatloaf my ex and I had at a hotel once. The grated veggies add a really fresh flavor and juiciness.

Garden Meatloaf

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large carrot grated fine
  • 2 large celery stalks grated fine (discard the stringy bits)
  • 1/4 cup grated or fine-chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal or breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg

Bake as above.

When Nana watched the kids last fall we found this one in the fridge when we got back. Or at least, this is my best guess! For months after Nan was here Kiddo always wanted cheese on his meatloaf!

Nana’s Meatloaf:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups dried stuffing cubes (you could use Stove Top or another mix for the seasonings, what I found in my pantry was plain stuffing cubes)
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 slices American Cheese

Save the cheese – about 5 minutes before you take the meatloaf out put the cheese slices on top and get them all melty.

Now some fun ones!

Corn Stuffed Meatloaf

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Stuffing Mixture:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn, canned or frozen, thawed
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine ground beef, salt, pepper, and chili powder. On a large piece of wax paper or foil, form beef mixture into a 10- x 12-inch rectangle.

Mix stuffing ingredients. Top meat with stuffing mixture to within 3/4-inch of edges and roll up like a jelly roll. Seal ends to keep corn mixture in. Place roll in a baking dish (with sides). Bake meatloaf at 350° for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Note: Soft bread crumbs means “not toasted or dried”. Run a couple slices of bread through a blender. I let them sit out for an hour or so so they crumb better.

This is the recipe that actually inspired me to make this meatloaf blog:

Meatloaf Pie

1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup catsup
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 cup milk
2 dry mashed potato mix

Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, mix beef, bread crumbs, ketchup and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Press mixture in bottom and up sides of ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix frozen mixed vegetables, water, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat. With fork, stir in milk and mashed potato mix (dry) until potatoes are of desired consistency.

Remove beef crust from oven; pour off any drippings. Spoon potato mixture evenly into partially baked crust. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until hot.

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