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passioncook 03-10-2008 12:19 PM

My meatloaf dilemma....
 
I really need help!

Every time I have ever made a meatloaf in my life, the thing falls apart when I go to slice it. I let it sit for 10-15 min. or whatever, same result. Tons of different recipes, same result.

Everything I have ever heard has said not to overmix the loaf, but I think maybe I'm undermixing? How much do you mix a meatloaf? Should I do it by hand or with my stand mixer?

This is the recipe I like. The flavor is good, but the dang thing falls apart. I'd like to try it again tonight, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks! :wink:
  • 1 cup of finely chopped onion
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped scallion (can substitute onion)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp salt (use 1 1/2 teas if using Italian sausage)
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp Worscestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck
  • 3/4 pound of spicy ground pork sausage* (or use Italian sausage - 1 sweet, 1 hot)
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 In a large heavy skillet cook the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and scallion in butter, over moderate heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Cover and stir occassionally until the carrots are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/3 a cup of ketchup. Cook for 1 more minute.
3 In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, bread crumbs, vegetables, and parsley. Form into a loaf and put into a retangular baking pan with 2 inch high sides. Cover loaf with remaining ketchup.
4 Bake meat loaf in oven for 1 hour.

*amy* 03-10-2008 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by passioncook (Post 564374)
I really need help!

Every time I have ever made a meatloaf in my life, the thing falls apart when I go to slice it. I let it sit for 10-15 min. or whatever, same result. Tons of different recipes, same result.

Everything I have ever heard has said not to overmix the loaf, but I think maybe I'm undermixing? How much do you mix a meatloaf? Should I do it by hand or with my stand mixer?

This is the recipe I like. The flavor is good, but the dang thing falls apart. I'd like to try it again tonight, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks! :wink:
  • 1 cup of finely chopped onion
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped scallion (can substitute onion)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp salt (use 1 1/2 teas if using Italian sausage)
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp Worscestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck
  • 3/4 pound of spicy ground pork sausage* (or use Italian sausage - 1 sweet, 1 hot)
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 In a large heavy skillet cook the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and scallion in butter, over moderate heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Cover and stir occassionally until the carrots are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/3 a cup of ketchup. Cook for 1 more minute.
3 In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, bread crumbs, vegetables, and parsley. Form into a loaf and put into a retangular baking pan with 2 inch high sides. Cover loaf with remaining ketchup.
4 Bake meat loaf in oven for 1 hour.

Your mixture might be too wet. For 1 1/2 of ground beef, you might cut the ketchup down to about 1/4 cup, and use one large egg. Pour a little of the ketchup over the top close to the end of cooking time.

Chief Longwind Of The North 03-10-2008 12:33 PM

I would omit the ketchup until the loaf was in the pan and use it as an added topping 3/4 of the way through the cooking time. Also, the egg and breadcrumbs act as teh bider, as does the fat. If the ground beef is too lean, your loaf will not hold together. If the veggie chunks (celelry and onion) are too large, they will keep the loaf from hlding together as well.

The recipe looks sound enough. Just make sure the veggies are finely chopped and the gound beef is not too lean. Milk added to the loaf mixture will also help it hold together, but not too much. About an eigth cup will do the trick.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Barb L. 03-10-2008 01:01 PM

Your recipe sounds very good, I mix mine up in a bowl with my hands till well combined, then back it down in a bread pan. When it comes out, drain the grease off, let rest. Maybe your not mixing it enough.

kitchenelf 03-10-2008 01:08 PM

Falling apart means tender in my book. Mine sort of falls apart too. :chef:

B'sgirl 03-10-2008 01:08 PM

Quote:

Every time I have ever made a meatloaf in my life, the thing falls apart when I go to slice it. I let it sit for 10-15 min. or whatever, same result. Tons of different recipes, same result.
I've never made meatloaf, so I don't have good advice. But there is a recipe on the back of the box of Gerber baby Rice Cereal that includes the cereal in it. I have obviously never tried it, but maybe the rice flakes will help it hold together. The stuff is really cheap to buy, it may be worth a shot to put a little bit in. They taste pretty good too.

BreezyCooking 03-10-2008 01:57 PM

I don't know - the recipe looks perfect. And the 2 eggs should definitely be a major binding factor. I only use ground turkey & chicken when making meatloaf, so I can't comment on any "grease", since ground poultry meatloaves don't really produce any.

For the amount of meat, though, you could have a bit too much liquid going on. The veggies will still release liquid while cooking in the loaf, & for the ingredients in your recipe, I'd probably be using a solid 3 pounds of meat (but again - that would be poultry). You might want to try increasing the breadcrumbs by another 1/2 cup &/or adding in some rolled oats. They not only add more nutrition & fiber, but bind & help absorb extra liquid.

Do you make this in a loaf pan (aka bread pan) or do you freeform it in a larger baking dish? Maybe if you've been using one method you should try the other just to see if that makes a difference.

GotGarlic 03-10-2008 02:07 PM

I think the recipe has too much liquid, and all that pre-cooking would drive me nuts :wacko: I've been making Betty Crocker's meatloaf for years and it comes out perfect every time. Here's the recipe: Savory Meat Loaf from Betty Crocker

This is slightly different from the recipe I have, in a cookbook I was given in 1981. Use 20% ground beef instead of lean ground beef; actually, I use one pound of ground beef and one-half pound of ground pork in my meatloaf. Mix by hand just till well combined and bake in a loaf pan. Drain the grease when you take it out of the oven, let rest for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve. It will be tender, but should hold together. HTH.

bowlingshirt 03-10-2008 03:16 PM

Thicker slices :glare:

auntdot 03-10-2008 04:32 PM

Thicker slices might work, and a good meatloaf is delicate. You are the expert on yours.

The recipe sounds great but I will also go with the maybe a tad too much liquid suggestion. Might down the ketchup a tad. What you reserve you can always put on the top.

Actually the number of eggs and the bread crumbs seems about right. If you want you could always try a batch with a bit more.

We always add ground pork to ours and add Parmesan cheese, yeah even the stuff in the box adds a bit.

That is all I have to offer, and it isn't very much. Good luck.


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