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Never Fail Meatloaf

Updated on January 23, 2016

Never Fail Meatloaf

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Do you love comfort food?

Who does not love to indulge in some yummy comfort food, like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, or, banana pudding every now and then? I know I do! My all time favorite comfort food is meatloaf! Now, I realize when people hear the word meatloaf, images of the dry, bland meatloaf we all were served in our school lunchrooms comes to mind. I admit, until I decided to make my own meatloaf, and came up with recipe, I rarely ate this dish.

When my husband asked me to make meatloaf for him, I was hesitant about it, not having made this dish for quite a few years. Nevertheless, I dove in, determined to make my meatloaf taste better than any either of us had ever had. After several tries, I finally perfected this recipe. My recipe for Never Fail Meatloaf is indulgent, and in this article, I will give you my recipe and I promise, once you make it, your family will look forward to "meatloaf night" just like my husband and I do! Happy eating!!

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Making a Better Meatloaf

How do I make my meatloaf so much better than the average meatloaf, you ask? I use better meat for starters. I only use ground sirloin or extra lean ground beef, if ground sirloin is not available. These two types of meat contain more meat, but less fat and gristle, therefore, the finished dish will not be greasy and will taste better.

Most importantly, I season the meat before I cook the meatloaf. Ground beef of any type does not have much flavor after it has been cooked, therefore, the meat must be seasoned prior to cooking. I use the traditional seasonings all meatloaf has: salt, pepper, garlic powder, ketchup, and mustard, but I also add apple cider vinegar to give the meat an extra boost of flavor. The egg and bread crumbs keep the meatloaf moist, which is another crucial step in making a great meatloaf.

Looking for a Healthier Option?

If you want to decrease the amount of fat in your diet, but still want to enjoy comfort foods, like meatloaf, I suggest replacing the ground sirlion or beef with ground turkey. Ground turkey is much leaner than ground beef options, and the taste of the meatloaf is not altered at all. I have found wonderful organic brands of ground turkey at my local organic market. Give it a try! I think you will like it as much as we do!

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 35 min
  • Ready in: 55 min
  • Yields: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of extra-lean ground beef or ground sirloin
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 Cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsps ketchup
  • 2 Tbsps yellow mustard
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the meat into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients to meat and mix well.
  4. Press meatloaf mixture into pan completely if using square baking pan or form loaf if using a loaf pan.
5 stars from 1 rating of How to make meatloaf special
Meatloaf ingredients prior to mixing with example of raw beef.
Meatloaf ingredients prior to mixing with example of raw beef. | Source

What you should know when handling raw meat

Mixing the meatloaf by hand is key to blending all the ingredients and will result in the best tasting meatloaf. However, keep in mind, raw beef contains Escherichia Coli (E.Coli), a bacteria found in the digestive tract of nearly all people, and is usually not dangerous to people, but there are strains which can make people quite ill. Because we do not have the ability to identify the dangerous strains of E. Coli, it is best to take all measures to prevent contamination.

If you choose to mix your meatloaf by hand, make sure to remove all jewelry before you put your hands into the raw meat, because if you leave your jewelry on, raw beef will get stuck in the small crevices of the jewelry, especially rings. This will lead to possible contamination of all the other food you touch. After you have finished mixing the meatloaf you must wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. If you do not feel comfortable touching raw beef, or raw meat of any kind, then I recommend you use two large spoons to mix the meatloaf.

For additional information on food borne illness click here: fda.gov

Meatloaf ready to go in the oven!
Meatloaf ready to go in the oven! | Source
  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 35 min
  • Ready in: 55 min
  • Yields: 4

Making the Topping and Completing the Dish

At this point, you are ready to place the meatloaf into a baking pan, cover with the topping, and bake the dish. I do spray my pan with non-stick cooking spray. The picture you see here is of my meatloaf, which is ready to go into the oven. After baking for 30-35 minutes you should check to make sure the meatloaf has cooked completely through. If the meat is done, then the dish is ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine 1/2 cup of ketchup and 2 Tbsps of apple cider vinegar.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Spread topping over top of meatloaf using basting brush.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until meat is cooked completely through.
Cuisinart AMB-9SCK 9-Inch Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Square Cake Pan, Silver
Cuisinart AMB-9SCK 9-Inch Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Square Cake Pan, Silver

This Cuisinart non-stick baking pan is great for baking brownies, and other dishes like meatloaf.

 

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    • tracy-arizmendi profile image
      Author

      Tracy Arizmendi 3 years ago from Northern Virginia

      @Skipsmom: I hope you enjoy the meatloaf! Thanks for visiting my lens and for the comment!

    • profile image

      Skipsmom 3 years ago

      Sounds delicious!!! Can't wait to try your recipe! I can still remember my mother's and grandmother's meatloaf to this day!!!

    • tracy-arizmendi profile image
      Author

      Tracy Arizmendi 3 years ago from Northern Virginia

      @MariaMontgomery: Thank you for dropping by my lens and for the comment Mia-Mia!! So pleased you appreciated the section on safe handling of raw meat!!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      This sounds like something I should make for dinner very, very soon! Thanks for sharing your special recipe. The public health educator inside me says, "Thanks for including the section on handling raw meat. It is so very important." Great lens. Well done.

    • tracy-arizmendi profile image
      Author

      Tracy Arizmendi 3 years ago from Northern Virginia

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks for the comment and squid like Susan52. So, glad you liked the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and reading my lens.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We love meatloaf! I'm with you, using a good grade of ground beef with very little fat. Makes a big difference in the result. Terrific recipe!