Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011: Meatloaf Recipe

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Ah, meatloaf… it’s one of the most popular comfort foods – unless your mom’s recipe wasn’t all too tasty. That’s the thing about meatloaf; it can either be really good or really bad. I tend to stick with my own recipe because I know I like it but never order meatloaf when I’m eating out in a restaurant.

These days not a whole lot of people make meatloaf, even though it used to be a mainstay for families in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The declining popularity is most likely due to the fact that it takes so long to cook; by the time a busy mom or dad gets home from work, there just isn’t enough time to prepare and bake a meatloaf.

It’s a shame, though, because leftover meatloaf makes THE best sandwiches the next day! When I used to work at a hotel in Mesa, a couple of my lunch buddies, who were much younger than me, used to beg me to make meatloaf and bring sandwiches for all of us the next day. Soft wheat bread, mayo, a bit of ketchup, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and... yum! Of course, I didn't mind obliging them.

I think I’ve mentioned before that both my son and my husband are picky eaters. But there’s one thing that both of them agree on and that’s my meatloaf, which is a family favorite (and the older my son got, the less likely the chance that there would be any leftover for sandwiches the next day because he would finish it off for dinner).

Mama’s Meatloaf

2 slices bread, torn into small pieces
1 – 2 T. dried, minced onion (depending on your preference)
1 t. dried parsley
Milk (about ½ cup)
1 egg
¼ cup ketchup
Dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
2 t. Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. ground beef

In a large mixing bowl, combine the torn bread, onion, and parsley. Add enough milk to cover all the ingredients. Let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the egg, ketchup, Worcestershire, and seasonings and mix with a spoon. Add the ground beef, and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.

Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pat the ground beef mixture into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour to 1 ½ hours. After 45 minutes of baking, remove the loaf and pour off excess grease. Pour off the remainder of the grease again before slicing and serving.

Note: I know some people prefer a tomato sauce on top of their meatloaf but I'm not including a recipe for that here because my boys like ketchup better than anything else. For a quick sauce, use a can of condensed tomato soup.

Tips: You can use either 80% lean or 93% lean ground beef; the former makes a juicier, more tender meatloaf while the latter produces less grease – your call.
For the bread, I use the heal of a loaf since it’s not good for sandwiches. Then again, you can use any type of bread you have around. Last time I used one heal of wheat bread plus one cheddar garlic biscuit leftover from a previous meal. Cracker crumbs will also work if that’s all you’ve got handy.


  1. We love meatloaf. I like to slice it super thin, once cold, and use it to make sandwiches.

  2. Hey Mama Kelly - how different (or alike) is your recipe? I'm always interested to know how other good cooks make their meatloaf!