It is hearty, satisfying, nutritious, and homey, often bringing back happy memories when the fragrant, browned, and the juicy loaf is presented at the table. Meatloaf has been a favorite in many countries for years, reportedly first appearing in this country toward the end of the nineteenth century. It has since become a family dining staple and an American classic, appealing to all ages. Moreover, with the renewed interest in comfort food, great homemade meatloaf is more popular than ever, and is often featured on the menu of upscale restaurants.
Though pleasing to the palate and offering complex layers of flavor, meatloaf is simplicity itself: a mixture of ground meat, starch, binder, liquid, vegetables, and seasonings made into a loaf and baked in the oven. Derived from traditional English meat-and-bread pudding and the renowned pâtés of France, the preparation is extremely versatile, lending itself well to a wide range of meats (as well as poultry and fish), vegetables, cheeses, herbs, spices, and other ingredients. A perfect meatloaf is a balance of ingredients that yields a tender yet firm loaf, with a blend of matching flavors.
Enjoy the exciting array of choices in Meatloaf and prepare the recipes that will please family or a crowd and add variety to your meal planning.
For the Meatloaf
15 oz minced beef
1 (1.4 oz) packet French onion soup mix
One tablespoon plain flour
One teaspoon soy sauce
For the Sauce
One tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
One teaspoon oil
Three tablespoons plum jam
1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Mix all meatloaf ingredients together well.
2. Shift to an oiled baking tray and mold into a loaf. Mix sauce ingredients together and spoon sauce over bread.
3. Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 180 C / Gas 4. Cook for a further 25 minutes.
Turkey and spinach meatloaf
6 garlic cloves
Olive oil, as needed
2 oz fresh spinach
1 onion, minced
Salt to taste
24 oz turkey mince
Ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. Place the garlic in a small saucepan and pour over enough olive oil to cover. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes until garlic is soft.
2. Be careful not to brown the garlic. Strain some of the olive oil into a large frying pan, take out the garlic cloves, crush them and set aside. Reserve the rest of the garlic oil.
3. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
4. Heat the frying pan over a medium heat and cook and stir onion in garlic oil until soft. Add the spinach in batches and cook and stir until wilted. Take out of the pan, drain well and spread out on kitchen paper to dry and cool.
5. In a large bowl combine the turkey, spinach, crushed garlic cloves and spinach and knead until well mixed. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and thyme.
6. Line a 900 g loaf pan with aluminum foil, spoon the turkey mixture inside and pack down tightly.
7. Heat the rest of the garlic oil in a large frying pan and lift the meatloaf carefully out of the loaf tin using the foil to help you so as to brown the loaf on all sides. Discard the foil and carefully place back into the loaf pan.
8. Bake meatloaf for 50 to 60 minutes in preheated oven, until loaf is nicely browned on top. Pour off any liquids while baking. Remove from the oven and serve.
Sausage and apple meatloaf
16 oz sausage meat
7 oz smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
1/2 onion, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4oz dried breadcrumbs
2 small apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped
One clove garlic, minced
one tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 900g/2 lb loaf tin.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well with hands. Shift to the prepared loaf tin and soften the top.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes until the loaf is no longer pink in the center. Remove from the oven, slice and serve.