Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I've had a rather flatteringly large number of requests for my meatloaf recipe, so here we go. I've tried playing around with various things and as usual, I boiled it down to these essentials. Feel free to play with things like adding different kinds of meats, etc. But I haven't seen it make a huge difference.

You'll need:

1 pound ground beef (I usually use 80:20 because it's $3/pound)
1 pound ground pork
~ 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine beef, pork, eggs, breadcrumbs. If you have spiced breadcrumbs, carefully add salt (often it already has salt, and quite a lot, so be careful) and pepper. Mash it all together with your hands until smooth and homogeneous. In a small pot, combine a quarter cup each of honey and ketchup- I don't ever actually measure it out, I just pour it out and do it by eye. Heat the pot and stir the honey and ketchup until uniform, then remove from heat.

If you're like me, you have no idea what happened to your mother's meatloaf pan. Well, that's alright. Surprisingly, it is less useful than you might think. I usually use my pyrex casserole dish, but I've also used a flat cookie sheet as well. Use what you have. Take your large lump of meat and slap it together into a rough sphere. Plop it down gently into the baking dish. Now here's a neat trick. You'll want a rough sort-of loaf shape, the classical meatloaf shape. But what's the best part of the meatloaf? The outside, of course. Press the meatloaf into an oblong spheroid roughly an inch and a half to two inches high. For me, with my giant man hands, I put my thumb and forefinger stretched out as wide as I can and press the meat out like that, but feel free to just shape it as you like. Squashing it flatter like this results in several things: 1. it increases the surface area to volume ratio, which allows the meatloaf to cook more quickly and more evenly. 2. With increased surface area, you get much more of the yummy caramelized surface. 3. It decreases the thickness of the thickest point in the meatloaf, again allowing it to cook both more quickly and more evenly. All in all, it's a good idea. Feel free to make it longer, but keep it fairly low and wide.

Finally, pour the honey/ketchup on top and make sure to coat the entire top and sides. You should have just enough with maybe a little extra on top.

Stick into oven for an hour to an hour and a half- I always check with my meat thermometer after an hour and the temp usually reads 168-171 degrees, which is pretty perfect for meatloaf. Take out and allow to sit for ten minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and peas. This makes enough for four hungry people or two hungry people with leftovers for lunch the next day. I like to eat mine with ketchup.