Are you ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food? Look no further than our old-fashioned meatloaf recipe! This classic dish is a staple in American cuisine and is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal for dinner or a dish to impress your guests at a gathering, our meatloaf recipe is the perfect choice. So, let’s dive right in and get cooking!
Table of Contents
How To Make Old-fashioned Meatloaf Recipe
Before we get started, let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty of a perfectly cooked meatloaf. The caramelized crust on the outside and the succulent and juicy meat on the inside make this dish irresistible.
To begin, gather the following ingredients:
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Once you have everything ready, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start preparing this mouthwatering meatloaf!
First, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This temperature ensures that your meatloaf cooks evenly and retains its juiciness. While the oven is preheating, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to make cleanup a breeze.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, chopped onion, minced garlic, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. Mix everything together until well combined. This is where the magic happens – the flavors meld together to create an incredible meatloaf mixture that will have your taste buds dancing in delight.
Transfer the meatloaf mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and shape it into a loaf. You can either shape it freeform or use a loaf pan to help maintain its shape. Whichever method you choose, make sure the meatloaf is evenly packed and compacted, as this will prevent it from falling apart during cooking.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 60-75 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C). Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness and shape of your meatloaf, so it’s always a good idea to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure it’s cooked through.
As your meatloaf bakes, the aroma will fill your kitchen, teasing you with the promise of an incredible meal. Be patient; the wait will be well worth it!
Once your meatloaf is cooked to perfection, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender meatloaf.
Now that you’ve conquered the art of making old-fashioned meatloaf, it’s time to take it up a notch and add your personal touch. Here are some ideas to elevate your meatloaf game:
Variations and Additions
1. Glazed Meatloaf
For a touch of sweetness and a beautiful caramelized finish, try adding a glaze to your meatloaf. A simple glaze made with ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard can take your meatloaf to the next level. Apply the glaze during the last 10 minutes of cooking for a sticky and delicious crust.
2. Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf
Everything is better with bacon, right? Wrap your meatloaf in strips of bacon before baking for an extra layer of flavor and a crispy exterior. The bacon fat will render as it bakes, infusing the meatloaf with its smoky goodness.
3. Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf
If you’re a cheese lover, why not stuff your meatloaf with oozy, melted cheese? Create a well in the center of your meatloaf and fill it with your favorite cheese – cheddar, mozzarella, or even blue cheese for the adventurous. As the meatloaf bakes, the cheese will melt and create a gooey surprise in every bite.
4. Turkey Meatloaf
If you’re looking for a leaner alternative, replace the ground beef with ground turkey. Turkey meatloaf is just as delicious and offers a lighter option for those watching their calorie intake. It’s a great way to keep the flavors of an old-fashioned meatloaf while making it a bit healthier.
Tips for the Perfect Old-fashioned Meatloaf
Now that you have some exciting ideas to experiment with, let’s go over a few tips to ensure your meatloaf turns out perfect every time:
1. Use Fresh Ingredients
Using fresh ingredients is key to achieving the best flavor and texture. Invest in high-quality ground beef and make sure the rest of the ingredients are fresh as well.
2. Don’t Overmix
When combining the ingredients, avoid overmixing the meatloaf mixture. Overmixing can result in a dense and tough meatloaf. Mix the ingredients until they are just combined, ensuring the flavors are evenly distributed throughout.
3. Let it Rest
Give your meatloaf some time to rest after it comes out of the oven. This allows the juices to settle and ensures a moist and tender meatloaf. Resting also makes it easier to slice without it falling apart.
4. Experiment with Seasonings
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the seasonings. Add herbs, spices, or even your favorite hot sauce to give your meatloaf a unique twist. Just make sure to taste the mixture before baking to adjust the seasonings according to your liking.
How To Serve and Store Old-fashioned Meatloaf
Once your meatloaf is ready, it’s time to dig in! Serve it hot with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad. The combination of flavors and textures will make every mouthful a delight.
If you have any leftovers, don’t worry! Old-fashioned meatloaf makes for a delicious sandwich filler. Simply slice the cold meatloaf and layer it between two slices of bread with some additional toppings like lettuce, tomato, and mayo. You can also reheat the leftovers in the oven for a quick and tasty meal.
When it comes to storing meatloaf, make sure it is refrigerated within two hours of cooking to prevent any bacterial growth. Place the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze the meatloaf for up to three months, ensuring you have a comforting meal on hand whenever you need it.
So, there you have it – the ultimate guide to mastering old-fashioned meatloaf! With our step-by-step instructions, variations, and tips, you’ll be able to create a mouthwatering meatloaf that will impress both your family and friends. Get ready to savor every bite of this classic comfort food. Happy cooking!
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