Please help, my meatloaf needs help. I have tried a number of recipes but it always comes out dry and tastless. So please if you have any help on how to make a great meatloaf or a great recipe that is fail safe then please let me know... Thank you.
Welcome Amy! When I prepare a meatloaf, I try to use a mixture of meats, like beef, pork and veal. I also use fresh white bread crumbs (like from Sarah Lee's classic white.) And finally I never place the meat loaf inside a loaf pan. I free-form the loaf on a baking dish, I love the crusty exterior. I hope this is somehow helpfull.
Use bread crumbs, shredded bread or crushed saltines mixed in, and a healthy dose of catsup on the outside to hold in the moisture, and then use diced onion, chopped garlic and Worcestershire sauce for flavor. You know you're on the right track when your meatloaf smells delicious BEFORE you put it in the oven.
2+ lbs of ground sirloin tip
1 lb. pork roll sausage
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
2 tbls mustard
½ tsp ea. salt & pepper
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 cup catsup, divided
Dump all in together, reserving ½ cup of catsup. Mix well, divide in half and form into two loaves. Place in sprayed baking dish, cover, and put in 350 oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and dump over any grease. Top with remaining catsup and put back in oven uncovered for 15 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 140. Remove from oven, cover and let stand 10-15 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. In large bowl, mix remaining ingredients thoroughly. Place in large sprayed baking dish and pat firmly into loaf shape.
Cover and bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes. Remove pan from oven, dump off any grease, and spread on reserved sauce. Return to oven, and cook, uncovered, until done, about another 30 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 150. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let stand for 15 minutes.
Cover and cook in microwave on med-high for 15 minutes. Remove lid, discard any drippings, and spread remaining sauce on top of loaf. Cook, uncovered, on high for 10 more minutes. Check temp with meat thermometer if in doubt. Remove, cover with foil, and let stand for 15 minutes.
*Note: substitute BBQ sauce for catsup, and add a tablespoon of brown sugar.
I haven't tried this one yet, but I’m also thinking of a Mexican version with corn, re-fried beans, and drained piquante sauce. Then maybe put cheese on top at the end?
Here's one of my own concoctions that is anything but dry & tasteless!
BREEZY MEDITERRANEAN TURKEY MEATLOAF
Approx. ½-3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped 1 medium fresh tomato, cut into bite-size pieces – OR - 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated dried or in oil, chopped 1 bunch or bag fresh spinach – OR - approx. ½ a bag frozen chopped spinach ¼ cup chopped onions Approx. ½- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese One egg, beaten One package (usually 1 to 1-1/3 pounds) ground turkey 1 cup quick or old fashioned rolled oats - uncooked Approx. 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder Approx. 1 tsp dried oregano Approx. 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasonings Approx. 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup milk (any fat content) or ½ & ½
1. Preheat oven to 400° F 2. In small skillet, cook spinach & onion over medium heat until spinach is wilted (or thawed) & onion is tender, but not browned. 3. Remove from heat & allow to cool slightly. 4. When spinach/onion mixture is cool, stir in feta cheese; set aside. 5. In a large bowl, combine beaten egg, turkey, oats, garlic powder, oregano, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, milk, chopped olives, and tomato. Mix lightly but thoroughly. (Your very clean hands are the best tool for this.) 6. Place 1/2 of turkey mixture into 9X6 loaf pan. 7. Layer on spinach/cheese mixture. 8. Top with remaining turkey mixture to completely cover spinach filling. 9. Bake 40-45 minutes or so, or until internal temp registers around 170 -180 degrees with a meat thermometer. 10. Let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.
This recipe doubles nicely, which is handy since it also freezes very well. If doubling, free-form the loaf in a large ceramic loaf pan, baking dish, or rimmed baking sheet, as it won’t fit in a regular loaf pan.
And here's another personal favorite that's received rave reviews. This one is particularly nice when served with a side of Spanish-style rice & a big green salad spiked with green olives, diced pimentos, & marinated artichoke hearts.
Breezy Spicy Mexican Turkey Meatloaf
3 pounds ground turkey 2 medium onions, peeled & chopped 1 red (or orange or yellow) bell pepper, seeded & chopped 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped 2 “Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce”, chopped, + one tablespoon of sauce* 2 large eggs 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (like Progresso brand) Approx. 1 tablespoon granulated garlic Approx. 1 tablespoon dried oregano Approx. ½ tablespoon dried smoked Chipotle chili powder 1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated** Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil an 8 x 13 loaf pan (or terrine, 2 smaller loaf pans, or a baking sheet for a freeform loaf***).
Saute onions, bell & jalapeno peppers in a few dollops of olive oil until just softened. Add chopped Chipotles & sauce. Set aside to cool a bit.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs thoroughly with a fork. Add ground turkey, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, chili powder, grated cheese, & cooled sautéed vegetables. Mix lightly but thoroughly with hands until ingredients are combined.
Press into loaf pan, smooth top, & bake for approx. 1 hour or until the center of the loaf registers 175-180 on an instant-read thermometer or the center of the loaf is no longer pink. (Don’t worry about the top getting too brown – that’s normal due to the high cheese content.) Remove from oven & allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice & serve as is, or topped with a spoonful or two of your favorite salsa.
* Any leftover Chipotle peppers & sauce can be stored in the fridge or freezer & added to chili, tacos, enchiladas, or any other favorite Mexican recipe.
** This is not the time to break out your pricey crumbly aged cheddar. This is the time for the innocuous inexpensive 1# block of supermarket stuff – lol!!
*** I made this in a lovely imported Williams Sonoma pottery loaf pan that’s my “go to” pan for meat loaf. However, you can also make this in 2 smaller loaf pans, or make a freeform loaf on a baking sheet.
This is how I make mine:
ground beef in a bowl
throw in some crushed saltines, or if you don't have those, bread crumbs, or if out of those, oatmeal
a good squirt of catsup, smaller squirt of mustard
pepper, a bit of salt (depending on crackers), a bit of Italian seasoning
form into loaf, partway through baking cover with catsup, finish
If you like the crusty parts, there are folks that make individual ones in muffin tins (works for "stuffing" too)
Any recipe will make a good meat loaf
If you like the ingredients and with some minor adjustments.
If it is too dense add bread crumbs or crackers.
If too dry add 1/2 can of tomato sauce to meat mixture. Onions and peppers. Top with other 1/2 can.
More flavor add garlic and top with bacon. Or use a mix of ground pork and beef.
I make my meatloaf using oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs. I also add egg, celery, onion and garlic, salt, pepper and parsley, and ketchup. I am going to try the Breezy Mexican Meatloaf - sounds pretty good.
Try using seasoned croutons instead of regular breadcrumbs. Just buzz them in the food processor or crush with a rolling pin.
I also like Ol Blues recipe. Pat your meat into a rectangle cover it with a pile of grated cheddar and some cooked diced bacon and roll it up like a jelly roll. Pinch the ends shut to keep the cheese in. Winner everytime.
That's what I was thinking, Bigdaddy. In cooking school, we made a chicken ballantine, similar to roulade. We took the skin off in one piece, pounded the breasts flat, then ground the dark meat and made it into a meat loaf-type mixture using a panade. Then used nuts, diced ham as garnish in that mixture. lay the skin out, place the breast filets on top, put the ground mixture on top of that, roll. I used cornmeal in my panade, and pepitas, dried apricots, and Spanish chorizo as the garnish, and tequila in place of the cognac. (In this preparation, "garnish" is used to describe the big chunks in the ground meat mixture, not decoration, although it is decorative)
Terrines can also make use of larger items placed in the ground mixture.