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Old 10-30-2010, 04:21 AM   #1
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Meatloaf, how I love thee, let me count the ways...

There are so many ways to make meatloaf, but I'm sure many of you have favorite ways, ingredients and tips that I think it would be nice to ..count the ways.

I'm making a meatloaf for dinner tonight and plan to use mushroom stems as a filler. I've never done it before, but it sounds good. I've got bacon so I'll top it with some ketchup and bacon on top.

How about you? What's your favorite version?
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:24 AM   #2
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I have no favorite version because meatloaf is one of my dishes I never make the same twice. Oh, I have a short list of basic ingredients, but when it comes to adding additional flavors, I just wing it. And nothing ever gets measured. It's a "Little of this... a little of that." Often I use BBQ sauce as a topping glaze instead of ketchup. Or I'll add a mixture of cheeses at the core like a melted filling, and use chili powder blended in with the meat. Or I'll mix in a couple of cups of mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, whole corn, carrot medallions, etc. and then served with a cream sauce.

It's play time with no rules!
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:48 AM   #3
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I change mine up alot too but some of my consistancies are;
I usually only use ground beef.Fresh is better than frozen but I use whatever I have.
Lots of onion.
1 grated carrot
2 celery stalks
2 eggs
1/4 cup flax meal
ground sage
Montreal steak.
A little bread crumb-maybe a 1/4 cup at most.

I also like to mix my ingredients as loose as i can get them then forming it in the pan.We made one in the shape of a body last week for fun but I really liked the texture with the additional surface area.

My daughter doesn't like ketchup or BBQ sauce on it so we covered it Pace picante last time and it was great.We have a new topping now.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
I have no favorite version because meatloaf is one of my dishes I never make the same twice. Oh, I have a short list of basic ingredients, but when it comes to adding additional flavors, I just wing it. And nothing ever gets measured. It's a "Little of this... a little of that." Often I use BBQ sauce as a topping glaze instead of ketchup. Or I'll add a mixture of cheeses at the core like a melted filling, and use chili powder blended in with the meat. Or I'll mix in a couple of cups of mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, whole corn, carrot medallions, etc. and then served with a cream sauce.

It's play time with no rules!
I do the same, that's why I started this thread to get more ideas.

Today's version I've decided to go with the Tamale version I have been perfecting. I had it just about right before, but now I have the cornbread mix. I'll make the cornbread and use taco seasoning mixed with stewed tomatoes, drained and maybe a little corn. I'd like to add some black olives too, but didn't get any when I shopped.

The trick to using the taco seasoning is to mix it with the tomatoes in a bowl first. One problem I have with meatloaf and packaged seasonings is that they don't mix well enough and I end up with pockets where the flavoring is too strong. By mixing the powder with the tomatoes I've gotten a smoother incorporation of the spices.

The cornbread, I use Jiffy mix because I like the flavor and there is no cleanup. I'll just make the cornbread in my little cast iron skillet and then take a hefty slice and then dice it up for the bread filler. I could probably use chili powder for this dish, but cornbread is what makes it Tamale for me.

I've got some onions left from the brats in beer that will add some nice flavor too.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4meandthem View Post
I change mine up alot too but some of my consistancies are;
I usually only use ground beef.Fresh is better than frozen but I use whatever I have.
Lots of onion.
1 grated carrot
2 celery stalks
2 eggs
1/4 cup flax meal
ground sage
Montreal steak.
A little bread crumb-maybe a 1/4 cup at most.

I also like to mix my ingredients as loose as i can get them then forming it in the pan.We made one in the shape of a body last week for fun but I really liked the texture with the additional surface area.

My daughter doesn't like ketchup or BBQ sauce on it so we covered it Pace picante last time and it was great.We have a new topping now.
Thanks 4meandthem. I really like the idea of grated carrot. I never thought of it. Good way to get veggies and I love the carrot flavor with stews so it would be good.

What is Montreal Steak? I've heard it mentioned around DC. Is it like A-1 or something? Flax meal?? What's that?

I like your idea of spreading it around to get more surface area.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:12 PM   #6
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Montreal Steak is a spice blend from McCormick's.Heavy on the black pepper.

Flax meal is ground flax.Great way to kick up the fibre.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:20 PM   #7
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McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning (one of their Grill Mate seasoning series) is found in the spice section with other BBQ seasonings and dry rubs. It's become rather popular as a general purpose seasoning for many meats.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:28 PM   #8
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I love all the ideas flying around here...like many, I seldom make it the same way twice. I never thought of using cornbread and taco seasonings, Z. What a great idea! Sounds like an inside out tamale, with more meat and less corn. The one thing I always do is mix some brown sugar with catchup, and smear a thick coat on the top.
For me, the best thing about making meatloaf is having leftovers for sandwiches. Toasted fresh sourdough, smeared with lots of mayo, nice slice of meatloaf, and thin sliced red onion of the top. Now that's good eats!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:06 PM   #9
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The tamale thing came about just because I'd stuck some leftover cornbread in the freezer, just enough for meatloaf filler. It tasted great so I've been working on it. I made it a couple of weeks ago, but didn't have cornbread. BIG disappointment. It was good, it was edible, but no cornbread just ruined it for me. It really helped that I thought of mixing the taco seasoning with the tomatoes. I hate biting into a clump of seasoning, then a bite with no flavor.

Brown sugar with catsup sounds good too. I add brown sugar or molassas to BBQ sauce, why not with catsup/ketchup.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:29 PM   #10
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Meatloaf...so boring and yet so inviting to change up and mess with. And leftovers are sooo good, even with regular plain meatloaf.

I've done Stroganoff Meatloaf with a sour cream and mushroom center, mushroom gravy and served on egg noodles.

Taco Meatloaf with crushed tortilla chips, salsa and cheese.

Asian Meatloaf with chop suey veggies mixed in and played with different Asian sauces to cange it up.

Chili Meatloaf serves with refries, etc.

I like the Tamale idea Zhizara, sounds good...add another to my aresenal.

French Onion Meatloaf...

Bacon wrapped, green chiles, tomatillos...so many ways to play with it.

Yup, I LOVE Meatloaf and luckily Shrek does, too!
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:35 PM   #11
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Z, I just thought about an Italian meatloaf I used to do. 1 lb ground beef, 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage. Italian style canned tomatoes, saute mushrooms, bell pepper, onions, lots of fresh parsley, egg and breadcrumbs. Lay rounds of sliced Mozzarella on top and pour a spiced up small can of tomato sauce over the whole thing.

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Old 10-30-2010, 02:38 PM   #12
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Z, I just thought about an Italian meatloaf I used to do. 1 lb ground beef, 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage. Italian style canned tomatoes, saute mushrooms, bell pepper, onions, lots of fresh parsley, egg and breadcrumbs. Lay rounds of sliced Mozzarella on top and pour a spiced up small can of tomato sauce over the whole thing.

Putting shoes on to go to the store.
I have to start a meatloaf file so I don't lose any of these suggestions...
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
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I love meatloaf...a hot country pate in reality. And I love a meatloaf sandwich the next day!
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:19 PM   #14
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One time my mom put a big dill pickle in the middle of a meatloaf before baking it. It was very interesting! She did the same with a big chunk of Velveeta cheese another time. It was good too.

I make my meatloaf pretty much the same way most of the time (my mom's regular recipe), but I do like to change it a little now and then. I tried Ol' Blue's recipe that called for stove-top stuffing mix once. I didn't add the cheese, as it just seemed like way too much, but the meatloaf was excellent.

I usually (well, always, except this one time) use ground beef, but the other day I had some ground pork, so I mixed it with the same amount of ground beef and made meatloaf. In addition to egg, chopped onion, garlic, milk, and rolled oats, I added McCormick's Spicy Montreal Steak seasoning, and it gave it a nice (though small) kick.

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Old 10-30-2010, 04:21 PM   #15
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"I have to start a meatloaf file so I don't lose any of these suggestions..."

That's just what I'm doing. I'm making a list of ideas and combos to try.

I definitely want to try your Italian one, Kayelle, it sounds really good.

Princess, that stroganoff sounds to die for. I got that one down too,
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:27 PM   #16
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Good point, Barbara. Stuffing mix is a great filler, especially since they are packaged up and make no mess like cutting up bread cubes, plus the seasonings are nice. Croutons too, although it helps to smash 'em some. One especially delicious one I made using leftover Chinese fried rice. Rye bread cubes are really good too, or even the cubed up leftover pizza crusts.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:04 PM   #17
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Okay the hamburger is almost done except for a ping pong size lump. It looks like there's so much stuff I can make 2 loaves.

I did want to pass on a tip. If you are using cornbread, or even cornbread stuffing for filler, mix up everything else first before adding, then mix the cornbread in gently. It tastes much better if you get a lump of cornbread rather than over mixing it. It makes a big difference in the end product.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:14 PM   #18
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I have made Meat Loaf a million different ways, I just can't like it. YUCK!!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:34 PM   #19
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I make a couple of different meatloaves (meatloafs?).

For one, I puree a combination of veggies (onion, bell pepper, mushroom, garlic, parsley, thyme) so there are no chunks and for the moisture they provide. I also add some grated Romano cheese and a small amount of cayenne for flavor rather than heat.

For the other I use bacon and shredded cheese and roll it up jelly roll style - delicious.

I don't sauce the top of the meatloaf with tomato or other stuff because I like it to have a crust. I shape the loaf in a loaf pan and turn it out on a sheet pan to bake "out in the open". The fat runs off and there's more crust.

Meatloaf recipes are endless. It' a matter of what you like.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:02 AM   #20
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You lot are the kings of meatloaf, I only made one version before I read this, 25% rose veal mince+25% fat belly pork mince+50% beef steak mince+ chopped onion+ a handful of fresh breadcrumbs.
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