Meatloaf is like meat bread. This salty dish contains ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, or chicken) with vegetables, eggs, and grain cereals. The name derives from the cooking method: it is cooked like a loaf of bread.
Its origins are uncertain, but the fact is that it became popular during the Depression in the United States in the 1950s and 60s.
In that period, meat was in short supply. People were looking for ways to extend it to feed more people. Using ground beef with other ingredients was a great solution. This is how meatloaf was introduced to North America. It has remained until today as one of the preparations for dinner par excellence. Most families in the United States include meatloaf in their dinners at least once a week.
A classic meatloaf consists of meat, some binders, and fillers. The most common binder to extend and moisten meat is eggs. Bread crumbs soaked in wine or milk are also great binders.
Fillers are varied. They give taste and spread the preparation. The most common fillers are chopped vegetables, mushrooms, rice, orzo, and oat.
Before cooking, the meatloaf is topped with a thick tomato sauce, bacon, or cheese. Then it is baked and served with rice, mashed potatoes, or salads.
This classic recipe has served as the basis for endless variations. There are thousands and thousands of meatloaf recipes that it would be impossible to list all.
Most countries have their version of meatloaf, adjusting seasoning and including local ingredients. In the same way, most families have created their variations of this hearty dish.
Vegan and vegetarian versions taste just as delicious as the original meatloaf. It is hard to discover it does not have actual meat.
The recipe at successrice.com/recipes/vegan-brown-rice-bbq-meatloaf/ shows the steps for preparing an exquisite vegan meatloaf.
In short, the ingredients for a meatloaf include ground meat, vegetables, eggs, bread crumbs, and tomato sauce. Let’s go deeper into each of them:
Ground meat: Traditional meatloaf contains ground beef. Some variations are made with a combination of ground beef and ground pork. Other recipes include ground lamb, venison, veal, poultry, or seafood.
Vegetables: The typical vegetables in meatloaf are onions, peppers, carrots, celery, and zucchini. It may also include mushrooms.
Eggs: They have to be beaten before adding them to the meat. In vegan variations, a flaxseed meal is used instead of eggs.
Bread crumbs: They help to bind the entire mixture. They are soaked in red wine or milk. Salty crackers, crushed soda, rice, oat, orzo, or couscous are other binders and fillers to include in meatloaf.
Tomato sauce: Meatloaf is topped and glazed with tomato sauce for a rich flavor. A mix of ketchup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and sriracha is another option for a glaze.
Seasonings: They are the heart of any meatloaf. Classic seasonings are Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and paprika. Other versions of meatloaf can acquire local flavors.
Try this creative meatloaf recipe
Classic meatloaf recipes simply combine all ingredients and bake. Other creative recipes include delightful fillings.
Here is a great idea:
Meatloaf Cordon Bleu style
1 beaten egg.
¼ teaspoon of dried thyme.
½ teaspoon of salt.
1 teaspoon of basil.
1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
1 teaspoon of onion powder.
2 teaspoons of ground mustard.
2 teaspoons of paprika.
1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
2 cups of soft bread crumbs.
1 kilogram of lean ground beef.
8 slices of cooked ham.
8 slices of Swiss cheese.
1 can of sliced mushrooms.
2 tablespoons of melted butter.
1 tablespoon of ketchup.
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
2 teaspoons of sugar.
- Combine the egg, basil, garlic powder, ground black pepper, onion powder, ground mustard, paprika, tomato sauce, and bread crumbs.
Incorporate ground beef and mix very well.
In a rectangle of waxed paper, add the meat mixture and spread until forming an 18×9-in. rectangle.
– Add at the top a layer of ham, then a layer of cheese, and finish with mushrooms.
– Roll the rectangle and form a jelly-roll style. Seal the ends very well.
– Take the waxed paper and place the meatloaf in a greased baking tray.
– Prepare the glaze by combining melted butter, ketchup, Dijon mustard, and sugar.
– Brush the glaze all over the meatloaf.
– Bake for 90 minutes.
– Let it cool for 30 minutes and then slice it.