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Old 07-30-2013, 12:28 PM   #51
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I have for you another piece of the crumbly meatloaf solution. Ever notice how very lean ground beef tends to crumble, and not hold together? Make sure that the ground meat has at about 30% fat in it. The fat holds the lean meat tissue together.

About the comment about frozen meat holding extra water; The water was always there, in the muscle cells. When the meat is frozen, the water expands and tears the cell walls, freeing up the water to flow. The starchy crumbs will absorb and hold that water in the loaf, or you could simply add a little flour to do the same thing.

I find that unless you make specialized meat loaves as i do, the primary flavors are cooked onion, salt, well done ground beef/pork, and maybe a little garlic. Added milk and crumbs add another layer of sweetness to the meatloaf, and soften the texture. Egg adds no flavor, but helps bind the structure together, and hold in moisture. Fat renders out, and carries away fat soluble flavors. Tne topping adds a contrasting flavor to the sometimes bland loaf.

Additions that enhance flavor include onion, garlic, sage, salt, black pepper. After that, you can further incorporate other flavors, such as Southwestern/Tex-Mex, by adding cumin, chili powder, peppers, coriander, chopped mushroom, etc.

You can make it Middle Eastern by using ground lam/goat/venison with currie powder, cumin, cinnamon, etc, topping with a Tzaziki Sauce.

Fro something more Italian, go with oregano, basil, minced carrot, marjoram, and Parmisan or Asiago cheese.

For french flavors, add celery, carrot, onion, and top with a nice Sauce Supreme, or an Espanole.

I sometimes make a chicken meatloaf flavored with finely chopped celery, onion, soy sauce, 5 spice powder, garlic, and topped with sweet and sour sauce.

Too much filler, i.e. breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, etc., will make the loaf too soft, and mushy. Too lean ground meat will make it crumbly and dry. Too much fat will make it greasy. The loaf should read about 165' F. in the middle when done. Overcooking will dry it out. Under cooking will be dangerous.

You can tailor the meatloaf however you want, as long as there is sufficient meat, and the flavors compliment each other.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:09 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
Carol, my "too much ketchup" was directed to the OP although he/she is probably long gone. Your "couple squirts" wouldn't have any significant effect.

I compared your recipe with my family recipe (realized mine calls for 2 eggs...) and the only real difference I could see was that you use bread/cracker crumbs. My recipe calls for 3 slices of whole wheat bread, cubed and mixed into the meat mixture. My meatloaf always hangs together so if you're willing to consider the bread that might help you. Oh, and do not discard the crust. Use all the bread. You might use 4 slices since my standard recipe is for 1 pound of beef.

BTW mine cooks at 325° for 45 minutes.
I don't know if I or my husband would like the cubed bread, but I might consider using soft bread crumbs made in my food processor with fresh bread rather than the commerecial bread crumbs. It might absorb the liquid better. I am going to try using freshly ground beef before I make any other changes. I usually buy a medium fat ground beef, maybe 85/15.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:12 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
...I am going to try using freshly ground beef before I make any other changes. I usually buy a medium fat ground beef, maybe 85/15.
I don't think fresh vs. frozen will make a difference. You should have no problem with 85%/15% ground beef.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #54
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This recipe has always worked for me. I use previously frozen beef and turkey that have been thawed in the refrigerator, and then brought to room temperature:

LOW CARB/LOW FAT MEAT LOAF

1 pound 90% ground beef
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 cup oatmeal
˝ onion, diced
˝ bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 eggs
1 Tbs oregano
˝ cup tomato sauce
2 Tbs olive oil

Sauté onion, bell pepper, and celery in 2 Tbs olive oil until soft. Add garlic and continue to sauté until onions are transparent. Add tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes then allow to cool. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add ground beef, ground turkey breast, oatmeal, and oregano to bowl, mix thoroughly, then add sauce to bowl and combine. Pat tightly into loaf pan and turn out onto a broiler pan. Bake in 375F oven for 1 hour. Makes 8 servings.

Total protein per serving – 17.0g
Total carbs per serving – 3.5g
Total fat per serving – 9.0g
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:24 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I don't think fresh vs. frozen will make a difference. You should have no problem with 85%/15% ground beef.
Andy, there is more water in the thawed hamburger than the fresh. I thawed out a one pound blocked of frozen hamburger to make some burgers for my supper last night. When it was all thawed out, there was a pool of water sitting at the bottom of the bowl. I took a clean dish towel and wrung out the rest of the moisture. I replaced some of it with a bit of milk. Just enough to tenderize the meat. I also noticed that the individual strands of meat that come through the cutter are not very distinct when the meat is frozen. Not like when it is freshly just ground.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:30 AM   #56
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Meatloaf is one of those things that was invented to use up leftover bits and pieces. The meat doesn't have to be in perfect condition, either. I've never had a problem using fresh or frozen over the years.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:59 AM   #57
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Andy, there is more water in the thawed hamburger than the fresh...


I realize that, Addie. I almost always use frozen ground meats for meatloaf. When making meatloaf, you add breadcrumbs, oatmeal, etc specifically to absorb moisture. It shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:59 AM   #58
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I just want to state an opinion, that fresh ground meat and frozen ground meat should have he same amount of water. It's just that freezing breaks the cellular tissue and causes the water to seep out and freeze separately. When you thaw it it seems more wet because this water has emerged to the surface, but when you mix it in a recipe there should be the same amount of water as before. As Andy says, just add more bread crumbs if that's a problem.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:25 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
I just want to state an opinion, that fresh ground meat and frozen ground meat should have he same amount of water. It's just that freezing breaks the cellular tissue and causes the water to seep out and freeze separately. When you thaw it it seems more wet because this water has emerged to the surface, but when you mix it in a recipe there should be the same amount of water as before. As Andy says, just add more bread crumbs if that's a problem.
That's what I said three or four posts up. You just said it with fewer words. Good job.

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Old 08-02-2013, 06:03 AM   #60
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Thanks for sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
This recipe has always worked for me. I use previously frozen beef and turkey that have been thawed in the refrigerator, and then brought to room temperature:

LOW CARB/LOW FAT MEAT LOAF

1 pound 90% ground beef
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 cup oatmeal
˝ onion, diced
˝ bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 eggs
1 Tbs oregano
˝ cup tomato sauce
2 Tbs olive oil

Sauté onion, bell pepper, and celery in 2 Tbs olive oil until soft. Add garlic and continue to sauté until onions are transparent. Add tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes then allow to cool. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add ground beef, ground turkey breast, oatmeal, and oregano to bowl, mix thoroughly, then add sauce to bowl and combine. Pat tightly into loaf pan and turn out onto a broiler pan. Bake in 375F oven for 1 hour. Makes 8 servings.

Total protein per serving – 17.0g
Total carbs per serving – 3.5g
Total fat per serving – 9.0g
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