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Basic Awesome Meatloaf

January 23, 2014

Meatloaf is easy to make and once cooked can be served in a variety of ways.

Traditionally meatloaf is an economically friendly dish created to stretch a small amount of minced beef (as well as leftover bread and vegetables) into a large family meal. There are a wide range of recipes out there and most of them are a great deal more complicated than they need to be in an effort to make the finished product appear posh.

It’s meatloaf for crying out loud! Basically a giant meatball. You don’t have to do much at all to it to make it both aesthetically pleasing and absolutely delicious.

Below I’ve outlined the method that I use for assembling a really simple and tasty loaf of meaty goodness. 

Ingredients: 

1 pound lean beef mince

1 large onion

2 large eggs

3/4 loaf of stale bread

2 teaspoons garlic granules

2 teaspoons onion granules

1 tablespoon soy sauce

There are many additional things that might be in your fridge which you can add into the loaf such as finely chopped red or green peppers, mushrooms or even cooked rice. If you do add any additional moist ingredients just be sure that you have enough breadcrumbs to help soak up the wetness or you’re going to have a soggy loaf.

Method: 

meatloaf

The first step is to dry out the bread. You can do this by tearing it into small pieces and leaving it out on the counter overnight or by baking the pieces in the oven at a low temperature until they’re light, fluffy and crispy.

You can pop them into a food processor after they’re crunchy if you want to but I like the look and texture of leaving the chunks of bread intact for my meatloaf.

meatloaf2

Next, throw the onion in a food processor and pulse until the pieces are very fine.

Then in a large bowl combine the mince with the onion, spices, soy sauce and eggs.

The best tools to mix this all together are your clean bare hands. If you have an aversion to touching cold raw meat you can purchase disposable vinyl gloves which make the experience easier.

After all of the wet stuff is combined in the bowl start mixing the bread through a bit at a time. For the exact ingredients I listed I used most of 3/4 of a loaf of bread but you may need to use a bit more or less depending on the size of your onion, the moisture in your mince or to balance out any additional ingredients you’ve added. Don’t worry if the bread chunks aren’t completely soggy. that extra crunch will be taken care of when it absorbs the juices from the loaf as it’s cooking.

The finished mixed meat lump should be moist but fairly firm and it should stick together very well.

meatloaf3

If you have time, it’s a good idea to let it all sit in the bowl for 10 mins before shaping it into a loaf.

I used a ceramic baking dish for the loaf because the ceramic holds heat best. I’ve never actually used a loaf pan to make meat loaf. If you have mixed it properly it should hold it’s shape pretty well, even if you form it on a baking sheet.

For maximum crustiness make sure that the sides of the meat aren’t touching the sides of the pan.

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Pop the loaf into a 180c/350f oven for about an hour. The internal cooked temperature when finished should be about 74c/165f and the top should have a nice hard crust.

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Cut it into slices and serve. You can top it with a beef or onion gravy but I prefer simple out of the bottle ketchup. Mayo is also delicious but a zillion calories.

Leftovers make amazing sandwiches (my favorite). Meatloaf also freezes and reheats really well so it’s a pretty great dish to make ahead of time.

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Enjoy! 

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From → Main Courses, Recipes

One Comment
  1. That looks wonderful!

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