The BEST Meatloaf I’ve ever had was one I called The Collaborative Meatloaf. On that night each cook took turns adding an ingredient, the rule was you could only add one ingredient per turn and you must disclose what you added. We made it the way REALLY Good Meatloaf should be made….by starting with good quality meat, adding fresh veggies, binding ingredients like eggs, milk, bread, herbs & aromatics, and then a few secret ingredients. The problem with our original Collaborative Meatloaf recipe is we also took turns making cocktails and I’m afraid the ‘secret’ ingredients will remain a secret.
Here is my attempt at the BEST Meatloaf ever, adapted to utilize secret ingredients hiding in plain sight in our fridge, resulting in….REALLY Good Meatloaf.
First off, the greatest part about a meatloaf dinner are the leftovers the following day…aka Meatloaf Sandwiches. Since you know you’re going to be making meatloaf sandwiches the next day, why not choose a really good bread to have on hand….and use a good hunk of it to make your fresh breadcrumbs.
While I’ve made meatloaf at least a hundred times in my life, I’ve never actually written out the steps. So it may seem funny, but before I started cooking I did a couple Internet searches to see how others talked about the process….and I’m glad I did. The second greatest part about meatloaf are the edges, so we’ve decided to give this open baking method from A Feast for the Eyes a try in hopes of gaining lots of crispy edges to go around. Simply line a shallow baking pan with foil, then place a rack on top. Lay a piece of foil on the rack, a little larger than the size of your meatloaf. With a metal skewer poke holes about every 1/2 inch to allow the grease to drain to the bottom tray.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 lb. ground beef, with a 1/2 lb. each of ground pork and ground veal and set aside. The pork acts as a self basting ingredient and the beef and veal impart incredible flavor.
- In a medium skillet saute two cups of diced veggies in olive oil until fragrant and tender. We used 1 fine diced onion, 1 thin sliced shallot, 6 grated baby carrots, and 3 minced garlic cloves.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, herbs, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, fresh bread crumbs, sauteed veggie mixture, and our two secret ingredients. Shhh…. Remember that Red Enchilada Sauce we made a couple weeks ago…I had frozen the leftover sauce for just such an occasion. And I also had to include my favorite burger ingredient…Red Curry Paste.
- Pour wet mixture in with the ground meat and mix gently by hand until just combined. Do not over-mix or your meatloaf will be hard.
- The other tip I picked up was to make a mini meatloaf slider, pan fry it in your veggie skillet. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
- Form meatloaf into a mound on prepared baking rack. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until internal temp. reads 160 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Our REALLY Good Meatloaf was moist and flavorful. Our secret ingredients will no doubt change each time we make this dish….as I expect yours will. Enjoy and please share your favorite Meatloaf recipes with us. We’d love to try them.
REALLY Good Meatloaf
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1/2 lb. ground veal
- 1 medium onion fine diced
- 1 shallot thin sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 6 baby carrots grated
- 1 Tbl. olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves only minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
- 1 Tbl. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tbl. Red Curry Paste could substitute hot sauce
- 2 Tbl. Red Enchilada Sauce could substitute ketchup or bbq sauce
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, combine ground meats. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet, saute onion, shallot, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and tender. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and next 9 ingredients.
- Pour wet ingredients into bowl with ground meat and combine by hand, until just combined. Do not overmix or meatloaf will be hard.
- Form meatloaf into a mound and place on prepared rack.
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until internal temp. reads 160 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.