Looking for the Perfect Meatloaf!

Millsap, TX

The last time I cooked Meatloaf was about 7 yrs ago..LOL DH told me one of these days he would show me how to make it.. Needless to say we haven't had it since.. I am starting to get a cravin.. Can Ya'll Help??

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

There are a zillion recipes!!! a zillion-zillion!

My husband is the best meat loaf maker!
He sautees fresh chopped mushrooms, sweet onions, and sweet red pepper. Cools the mix and then adds the mix to the meat (ground pork and ground sirloin or ground round) Then he mixes in an egg (or two --depending on the meat amount), ketchup, spices (salt, pepper, parsley) and a small amt of italian breadcrumbs. It is really great. Once he forms the loaf ..he makes a long not too deep groove down the middle on top ..from end to end... and fills it with shredded sharp cheddar and pops it in the oven. If he is making for another day.... he adds the cheddar to the bowl of meat and sauteed veggies and spices, etc. He mixes it real good and then he lays saran wrap in a pyrex loaf pan ----in a cross shape long from end to end (make sure it hangs about six inches over each end..and then another strip across the middle of the pan..again hanging over. He then jams the meat mixture in the pan (stuffs it really tight and flat and folds the long saran wrap side pieces over the entire top of the exposed meat. (He does not wrap the pan--just seals the top of the meat) then he turns it upside down and it falls out of the pyrex pan perfectly formed AND WRAPPED. He then puts it in a freezer zip loc bag and freezes. When he gets ready to cook it..it is defrosted and then the saran peels right off and the loaf is ready to go in the oven. He doesn't cook much but when he does we have a few meat loafs frozen at a time.

edited to make sense

This message was edited Nov 24, 2008 7:02 PM

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Meatloaf is one of those things that you can make differently everytime. I made one last week for the first time in no telling when. I had planned to make a tomato sauce/gravy and serve with some mashed potatoes. It was half baked when my neighbor brought me a big plate of homemade tamales so I figured I'd finish baking it and keep it for the next day. My son blew through with two friends and they wiped me out. I got 2 tamales and they inhaled the rest. Then they started on the meatloaf which was still hot and nothing made to go with it. I had the one heel slice the next day and it was the best one I ever made.

I don't like to get my hands in it so I used my bread machine on the dough cycle. 1 1/2 lbs fairly lean GB, dehydrated onions, chopped green pepper, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, 1 egg and about 1/3 C quick oatmeal. I added 1/2 C water so the bread machine would have an easier time. I plopped the whole works into a loaf pan and leveled it out with the back of a spoon. Painless and delish.

Some folks use bread or cracker crumbs instead of oatmeal and whatever seasoning you're in the mood for. It's important to mix very well so it will hold together for slicing.

I just previewed and saw another more fancy recipe. Yep it's all good. I like the idea of making extra to freeze.

Paris, IL(Zone 6a)

My problem with meatloaf lies in thinking a recipe for it is merely a starting point. Some times I add crackers as filler but prefer oatmeal. I've used rice and everyone seemed to like it. I'm not a big fan of bell peppers (my stomach doesn't like the after-effects). My meatloaf always has a chopped onion in it and grated carrots if some are available (great for color, the sweet taste is also a plus). There is an egg or two in it and I generally use ground chuck as the only meat. I've put canned mushrooms, pieces & stems, in it but caution about adding too many.

I've had people ask for my recipe and I just laugh. I don't have one and I never make it the same way twice. I just keep adding something until I think it looks about right.

Cooking is not a science. It is an adventure. Good luck.

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

2 lbs of chopped Pork ad 1/2 lb of groun chuck
1/2 of old Italian bread soaked until soft and squeezed as dry as poss.
1/2 c chopped parsley
1/2 c chopped onion can add finely chopped garlic, I don't
1 lrg whole egg.
Salt 7 pepper to taste No vegetables. make those for side
mix thoroughy

Piece of wax paper, put this dough on the floured paper spread apart, shell 3 hard boiled eggs, lay in the middle of your dough. fold meat over the eggs and form a loaf coating it in the flour. Don't like eggs , don't use, just make a loaf and coat in flour.
Place on a pyrex baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for one hour, half way done pour a can of Cream of mushroom soup over the whole thing adjust with a little water to make a niece gravy. Serve over mashed pots.Moist and has gravy. Can add sauteed mushrooms into the pan while baking.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

I make the Best MeatLoaf In the World. And Mine Never Cracks or Splits Paul

Millsap, TX

YUMMM! I want to hear some more.. Paul is yours a sceret?? hahaha..

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

My husband's doesn't crack... he splits it on purpose to stuff it with all that heart killing, hip fattening, cheese!

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

I'm not a big fan of ketchup in my ml but I do like the bbq type sauce on top made with ketchup, vinegar and brown sugar then carmelized on top near the end of cooking.

I've tried Paula Deen's one where you put shredded cheddar in it and it was good. My mom made one with minute rice as the filler/binder, mushrooms, celery, onion and cream of mushroom or golden mushroom soup. Half a can mixed in the loaf and the other half mixed with a bit of roux, beef broth and sour cream for a gravy. I tend to make most of the ones I make with onion, red bell pepper, celery and grated carrots, one egg, a mix of chuck and sirloin, freshly mini choppered soft bread crumbs, salt, fresh pepper, worch. sauce, garlic and a splash of milk.

I form it on a foil lined cookie sheet into a free formed loaf shape. Paula Deen had a tip to place a few slices of reg. bread beneath the loaf to absorb the grease during cooking. You just lift the ml off and toss the bread. Bacon slices arranged over the top also add some nice flavor. So many options:lol:

This message was edited Dec 4, 2008 1:07 AM

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

If you want to make meat loaf that wont crack . after you mix up what ever you put it take the meat and work it on a cutting board just like your moms did with bread dough pound it roll it then start shapeing it run your hands under hot water and rub the meat so the cracks seal no crack meat loaf

Millsap, TX

They all sound Wonderful!! My fav part about meatloaf is a sandwich the next day..

I bet the one with eggs in it is pretty when you cut it..LOL
Thanks for all of the hints and tips and recipes.. I am gonna make it tonight...
Wish me luck!!!

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Here's a crockpot version. It comes out very well. :-)

Put 2 pounds of hamburger (ground chuck keeps the fat down.. or use 1 lb hamburger and 1 lb ground turkey) into a mixing bowl, and add 1/2 to 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs. Crack 2 eggs into the bowl, and sprinkle with app. 1 tsp. of oregano, 1 tsp. of thyme, and 1 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce. If desired, add up to 1/4 cup red wine to make the mixture moist enough; otherwise, use water or broth. Add 1/2 pkg. of brown gravy mix -- the kind that makes a 2-cup batch. Moosh it all together, and pat it into a round, bowl shape -- basically the shape of the crockpot, less 1" on each side. Pat it firmly, so it doesn't fall apart.

Put into the crockpot. Dump the other half of the gravy mix into another small mixing bowl, and add 1 cup tap water, along with app. 1/2 tsp. of oregano & thyme each, and 1 tbsp. (plus or minus) of Worcestershire. You can add a splash if red wine to this, if so inclined. Mix it all up well, then pour over the meatloaf in the crockpot.

Cover it, set to High, cook about 4 hours (or 8 hours on low, if you're going out for the day).

My husband missed the tomato-y taste from his mom's meatloaf when I made it this way, so now I add some chili sauce instead of the water for the sauce part. Ketchup or bbq sauce would also work. :-)

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I really like that idea about putting bread under it to absorb the fat.

Millsap, TX

I'm trying the bread thing..
LOL my DH thinks everything he eats should be like his mother cooked..
The woman could not cook!!!... Not that I can...LOL BUT geeeze!!!
She did make a great pan of Fried Green Tomatoes.. but that is it...

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

The bread thing actually worked when I tried it but that was some grody greasy bread at the end:lol:

I always liked my mom's basic and I later realized that she used the packaged meatloaf seasoning packet found with the gravy packets from Schilling or McCormick:lol: No big family secret recipe there:LOL:

Crossville, TN

No matter what kind of meat loaf I make...I always use stale bread cubes soaked in milk...makes for a moist meat loaf. Jo

Millsap, TX

Jo ... I have to know.. do you open the bread sack ?? Mine just turns green and I feed it to the cows.. They don't care..LOL
I didn't get the chance to fix it.. One of those "Life rears it's ugly head things".. It is starting to settle down a bit and I am kind of looking forward to giving this a go...TILL

WOW!! Thanks.. for all of the links..LOL Now I am so confused AGAIN!!!

Crossville, TN

lol...I tear up about a cup full of bread then pour enough milk on the bread so it is soaked through,....let it set for a minute or so and put it in the meat mixture. Jo

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

Great thread, as are all the other meatloaf threads. I plan on making several diff. ones as a Christmas gift for a neighbor who always sends us beautiful cookies. She is a diva w/ Christmas cookies and I know I can not match nor do I want to. So I will give her the meatloafs in freezer bags for post Christmas dinners. Thanks for sharing.

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