Some foods provide succor to the soul. They make you surrender to childhood memories of waiting for the magic in mother’s hands to unfold. The first taste that was offered to your superior taste buds for sampling.
Meatloaf is one of those foods whose aroma still tugs at your heartstrings. It moves on in the time warp where meals were hearty and man did justice to food.
Things required are 2 pounds of ground beef, 2 cups of bread crumbs or 3-4 slices of white bread if you are making your own crumbs, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1 medium sized onion, 1-2 large eggs, 1/3 cup milk, 2 cloves of garlic or ½ oz. garlic powder, 1 carrot, celery, parsley, salt, pepper and a little Worcestershire sauce. You need a small mixing bowl, a large mixing bowl, a fork, a loaf tin, a grater, a meat thermometer, a food processor (if you are making your own bread crumbs). Toppings to the meat loaf are optional and include bacon (4 strips), cheddar cheese, and some dry mustard.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.Chop the onion finely
- Beat the eggs.If you are using homemade breadcrumbs, make crumbs by pulsing the slices of bread in the food processor till it resembles crumbs.Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small mixing bowl.Mix well.
- In the large mixing bowl add the meat, the onion, garlic, eggs, 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1and a 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/ 2 teaspoon pepper. Add the carrot and the celery and parsley at this stage too. Add the contents of the small mixing bowl to the large one and mix gently with a fork .You can also mix using your hands.
- Place this mixture in a buttered loaf tin. Brush the remaining ketchup on the loaf. Keep a little for basting during the baking process. If you prefer drape four strips of bacon to the meatloaf. Grate cheddar cheese and add it on the top of the loaf. Bake for 45-55 minutes.
- The meat loaf is done when it starts pulling away from the sides of the pan. Check for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer in the center. When it reads 160 degrees the meat loaf is done. Let the meatloaf rest for some time so the juices will get redistributed.
Tips and Warnings
- Instead of using only beef, you can use 1 lb of ground beef, 2/3 pound of ground veal, and 1/3 pound of ground pork.
- You can substitute garlic in the recipe by adding 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and 1and 1/2 teaspoons of dry mustard.
- If a loaf tin is not available use aluminum foil instead to make the shape of a loaf.Place it to bake on a baking sheet.
- If preferred then you can mix half the amount of grated cheese in the mix of the meatloaf and the other half to decorate the top.