I love meatloaf. The eating one, not the singing one.
There are so many ways to make meatloaf and I prefer it minus the chunks. Some folks like it with chunks of stuff and I don’t. When we were in school, they made it with canned tomatoes and onions and it was SO greasy. But it most always came with mashed potatoes and English peas and carrots. I always ate it because I was raised in the 70’s and 80’s and you ate what was on your plate or you went hungry until you got home. Nobody was allergic to peanuts, nobody was on a gluten free diet, nobody was vegan. We ate what they served us and it was good. The ladies who cooked in our cafeteria made real food. They chopped, they stirred, they tasted. They COOKED. They didn’t heat up stuff like they pretty much do now. I guess there are just so many rules about shit and parents freak out about every little thing now that it’s just easier to feed the kids processed packaged shit. I mean, Jesus himself probably has no clue how much “pink slime” I’ve ingested in my life time and I’m no worse for the wear. I have noticed the sort of “revolution” going on in school lunchrooms and I think it’s really a good thing. There are so many kids who qualify for free or reduced price lunches and I’m sure there are way more kids than I would like to think that lunch or breakfast at school are the only meals they get and we need to make sure they’re eating real food. *off soap box*
When I really think about it, my Mom’s meatloaf was really bland. She made it with ground beef, oatmeal (for binding), and eggs. She put ketchup and sliced onion on top and that was it. No salt, no pepper, no garlic, nothing extra. Not that it wasn’t good, it was but when I compare it to mine and some others I’ve eaten, it’s just, well, plain; for lack of a better way to describe it.
I have tinkered with my meatloaf for years. For a long time I made it like Mom’s and it was good, but that was during the lean years and I was just happy to get to eat. I tried to make it chunky and that was just gross. But then Roger got the satellite dish that one time and I saw there were so many ways to make it and I finally got it down. I learned that traditionally meatloaf is made from a mixture of ground meats that usually contains beef, pork and veal. I love veal and would use it but it is really spendy over to the HEB so I use beef, pork and lamb. I have to hide the lamb package because Roger is a confirmed lamb hater and swears UP and DOWN that he can taste it and it tastes like old goat and I just think he’s full of shit so I put it in anyway. I also used oatmeal for years but I’ve found that breadcrumbs give a smoother texture and I am all about the texture of things. Most of the foods I don’t like I don’t like because of the texture, not the taste. With the exception of raspberries. Raspberries are just foul.
When I made the one I’m going to show you, I just used ground beef because it was what I had and I didn’t have time to go to the grocery.
Oh! And a note about ground beef; please use an 80/20 mix and if you can afford it, don’t use the meat in the plastic tube. I don’t think that’s really ground beef, I think that is the dreaded pink slime and it’s so full of fat that it’s just gross.
And away we go…
So I have to say that this meatloaf was really dry and sad. I wasn’t very happy with it but it was what it was and there’s no use in crying over it. If you follow the tips I gave you and you don’t overcook it, and let it rest for a few minutes before you serve it, it will be nice and juicy.
There are lots of ways to make meatloaf and really the only thing you can do to totally fuck it up is overcook it. It usually takes about an hour for a good sized one to cook, just keep an eye on it so you don’t burn it up.
Let me know if you make a meatloaf and what you do it make it your own!