Meatloaf may be the most classic comfort food ever, and there's little wonder as to why. Tangy, juicy and perfect for nearly any occasion, meatloaf is a hearty main course that’s sure to please everyone in the family.
If the fear of ending up with soggy, greasy or dried-out meatloaf has kept you from making one from scratch, try this simple and satisfying meatloaf recipe. In just ten steps you can make a meatloaf that's guaranteed to be tender and mouth-wateringly delicious.
Choosing beef with a high-fat content may seem a good choice for the flavor factor, but the excess fat turns into grease during the cooking process and can give your meatloaf an unpleasant taste. Choosing ground beef that is about 70 percent lean helps reduce the level of grease that can saturate your meat yet has enough fat to allow the loaf to hold its shape while cooking.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees f and trim the crusts off three pieces of bread. Tear the slices into small bits and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the bread bits for fifteen minutes or until they turn golden brown and feel dry to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the bread cool for ten minutes.
Onion adds savory flavor and satisfying texture to your dish. Select a medium-sized healthy yellow onion. The onion should be very firm and dry with shiny skin. Peel the skin and dice with a sharp chef’s knife. Set aside half a cup of the diced onion to add in later.
Crack a large egg into a large mixing bowl and beat it with a fork until the yolk and white are well-blended. Pour in a half-cup of whole milk and then add in the ground beef. Toss in a cup of your dried breadcrumbs, then pour in your diced onion.
A strong blend of spices helps ensure you don’t wind up with bland meatloaf. A half-teaspoon of ground pepper and a teaspoon of salt can add a light pop of flavor to your meatloaf. Drizzle in one tablespoon of Worcestershire, which adds moisture as well as sweet and tangy taste to your mix. Pour in two tablespoons of your favorite ketchup to boost the heartiness of your meatloaf.
Once you’re satisfied with your spice selection, roll up your sleeves and stick both hands in the mix. Squeeze the mush with your fingers, scoop it up and let it fall, and swirl it around to catch any ingredients stuck to the sides of the bowl. Scrape the bottom as well to lift up any sediment there. Mush until the mixture is well combined with no large clumps or residual ingredients loose in the bowl.
Transfer your meatloaf mixture into a greased, 5x9 loaf pan. Be sure to pat down your meatloaf before cooking to ensure the meat bakes evenly and has a smooth, uniform shape when you remove it from the oven. Don’t compact the meatloaf tightly when shaping it into the pan, since this can cause the loaf to dry out.
Adding a rich glaze helps guarantee a moister meatloaf. Pour one-quarter cup of ketchup into a small mixing bowl. A half-cup of brown sugar adds rich texture and sweetness to the glaze. Be sure to pack the brown sugar into the measuring cup before pouring to ensure you add in the correct amount. Add in a teaspoon of seat salt and stir the glaze mixture until fully blended.
Use a pastry brush or spoon to spread a thick layer of glaze over the top and sides of the meatloaf in the pan. Place the meatloaf in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes. Check to ensure the meatloaf is done by inserting a meat thermometer into the loaf. When the thermometer reads 160 f degrees, the meat is fully cooked and safe to eat.
Slicing into it immediately after baking can cause the crust to crack. Let it cool for ten minutes, which will help ensure the crust holds its integrity. The cooling period will also allow the juices to distribute better, so your meatloaf will be extra succulent. After cooling, slice and serve for an indulgent and hearty meal.