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Dear Abby's Meatloaf Recipe

Classic Meatloaf Is Comfort Food That Warms Generations
May 17, 2017 - Letter 1 of 2
by Abigail Van Buren
© Copyright Andrews McMeel Universal, Andrews McMeel Syndication, uexpress , © Universal Uclick 2017
Source; excerpts follow…

Quote

MEATLOAF
2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs
Pepper to taste
Salt, if desired
4 strips bacon, if desired

Heat oven to 350 F.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients except bacon. Shape into a loaf; place in 9-by-5-inch pan. Arrange bacon strips on top of meat mixture, if desired. Bake for 60 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Source

A reader asked Abby for a years-ago meatloaf recipe and she responded with the above. Rather than relying on the "x-minutes at y-degrees" formula, I recommend using a meat thermometer and checking Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures at Foodsafety.gov.

Meatloaf is one of those dishes that you can do reliably (often by rote) once you settle on a recipe that suits you and those you feed. Possible variations are innumerable but, as a basic comfort food, simpler may be better (and easier to remember). And don't discount its value as a leftover; I can't tell you how many meatloaf sandwiches I've eaten (sometimes cold and usually with ketchup).

I'm "working on" a ground turkey version of meatloaf but, since my attempts are usually months apart, haven't really settled on a recipe. I hold off on the garlic and lean toward plain bread crumbs (instead of Italian-flavor) because garlic and turkey is not working for me. And because I'm a bachelor, I throw some vegetable soup mix in there instead of chopped onions… so I don't have to wash the knife, duh!

Any suggestions?


Postscript: There's a cute Phineas and Ferb episode about meatloaf featuring a cameo by Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef) and a song by Tiny Cowboy.
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12 Comments On This Entry

I love meatloaf and meatloaf sandwiches but I never much cared for the ones I made until I tried this one that I found online a few years ago. It's not all that different from the one you posted but for the lower carbohydrates. It's moist and really delicious hot or cold. Oh, and I always grind the beef right before I make it. I'm convinced that makes a difference.

Lyn's FAVORITE Meatloaf

I have a family that likes meatloaf. My usual recipe has oatmeal in it instead of breadcrumbs, but now that I am eating low carb, oatmeal and breadcrumbs are out. Yesterday, I considered making one meatloaf for *them* and a mini meatloaf for *me* because I was concerned they would not like a different meatloaf recipe. I thought a low carb meatloaf would be dry, tough, and tasteless. BOY WAS I WRONG!

Everyone SCARFED this meatloaf down. This is going to be my new, regular meatloaf recipe. It's moist and tender and SO flavorful. I loved it! I served it to the family with steamed peas, mashed potatoes, and whole wheat bread & butter. For myself, I made mashed cauliflower (fake mashed potatoes) and steamed spinach as sides. (I found this recipe online somewhere and tweaked it a bit, but can't find the original site to link to).

2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
8 oz can of tomato sauce
3 T soy sauce (I use low sodium/lite soy sauce)
1 T onion powder
1 T dried parsley
ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 whole eggs (you could use Egg Beaters if you want... I used free range eggs)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese (you want the powdery kind, like Kraft in a can, not shreds. This is the binder).
1 piece of raw bacon (trust me. I used Hormel frozen bacon, 40 calories in 1 slice) cut up as fine as you can

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix everything together in a bowl. I use my hands. Mush it all up good.
Put the mixture into a casserole dish. Smooth the top a bit. Bake uncovered for 1 hour 10 minutes. I checked mine in the center with a meat thermometer (160+). Take it out of the oven and CAREFULLY pour off the fat. Do not hurt yourself. Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes, then serve. Yummy! (p.s... it does NOT taste like soy sauce. At all. So don't worry about that). Hope you enjoy it!

Posted by Lyn at 6:17 PM
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Quaker oats instead of the italian bread crumbs per Dear abby, and it's essentially how we do it.

And good luck with the ground turkey. I've never had good luck. At least not store-bought which is ground way to fine and is almost a mush.
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Same as my mom made except she used marinara sauce instead of ketchup.


I think the breadcrumbs (or oatmeal) was to stretch out the 1 or 2 lbs of beef so the meal would last a couple days.
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Ladybird, on 21 May 2017 - 10:29 AM, said:

Same as my mom made except she used marinara sauce instead of ketchup.I think the breadcrumbs (or oatmeal) was to stretch out the 1 or 2 lbs of beef so the meal would last a couple days.

I think the breadcrumbs or oatmeal had a dual purpose. The first, as you said, stretched the ingredients and it also acted as a binder to hold everything together. Hamburger on its own is too soft and tended to fall apart when sliced. In the recipe I posted which is deliberately low-carb, "Lyn" uses grated Parmesan as the binder.

My father was first generation Italian-American and liked to help out in the kitchen when he wasn't on sea duty. He always added breadcrumbs or crumbled bread to his meatballs for the same reasons.
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Ladybird, on 21 May 2017 - 10:29 AM, said:

Same as my mom made except she used marinara sauce instead of ketchup.I think the breadcrumbs (or oatmeal) was to stretch out the 1 or 2 lbs of beef so the meal would last a couple days.

Me again. I forgot to mention that I think your mother's marinara sauce is a much better idea than ketchup. It's got a lot more flavor and it's not as sweet.
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Liz, on 22 May 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

Ladybird, on 21 May 2017 - 10:29 AM, said:

Same as my mom made except she used marinara sauce instead of ketchup.I think the breadcrumbs (or oatmeal) was to stretch out the 1 or 2 lbs of beef so the meal would last a couple days.
Me again. I forgot to mention that I think your mother's marinara sauce is a much better idea than ketchup. It's got a lot more flavor and it's not as sweet.


I make it with diced tomatoes with green chilies, then glaze with some Famous Dave's Devil Spit...
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Snarknado, on 07 June 2017 - 01:15 PM, said:

Liz, on 22 May 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

Ladybird, on 21 May 2017 - 10:29 AM, said:

Same as my mom made except she used marinara sauce instead of ketchup.I think the breadcrumbs (or oatmeal) was to stretch out the 1 or 2 lbs of beef so the meal would last a couple days.
Me again. I forgot to mention that I think your mother's marinara sauce is a much better idea than ketchup. It's got a lot more flavor and it's not as sweet.
I make it with diced tomatoes with green chilies, then glaze with some Famous Dave's Devil Spit...


I've never heard of Famous Dave's Devil Spit so I looked it up and found something here. I don't know whether or not it's close, though.
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Thank you all for contributing; I apologize for being away so long. Quaker Oats, marinara sauce, bacon, and some kind of Devil spit! This is fun!
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Liz, you forego bread crumbs altogether and use cheese instead?
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MADGestic, on 09 June 2017 - 07:54 PM, said:

Liz, you forego bread crumbs altogether and use cheese instead?

Yes, Parmesan does work as a binder. I've been losing weight by cutting down on carbohydrates and while I certainly do eat bread (and pasta) occasionally, I try to limit them.
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I usually use 3 eggs vice 2, and a little more bread crumbs-makes a richer flavor.&nbsp; Also, beat the eggs&nbsp;well, before adding to the meat.&nbsp; If you're feeling zesty, add some picante or taco &nbsp;sauce instead of ketchup.<br>
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I remember a Bobby Flay throwdown about who made the better meatloaf with a couple of brothers who had a popular diner in coastal New England, I think.

Anyway, one thing both competitors agreed upon was that you should cook your vegetables before you add them (onion, celery, green pepper, carrot, ?) to the raw meat.
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