by Greg Ratajik
Easy to make, you can either just go with this basic Meatloaf recipe, or get as creative as you like - using this as a basis, you can put just about anything in it.

  • 1-1.5 pounds Ground beef (self-ground sirloin tip and rib eye used here)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cups whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons catsup
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • Parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1+ cup Bread crumbs

First off, the above is just a guideline.  Season it to taste, and the amount of wet vs. dry that goes in will vary a bit.  More on that later.

If you are going to use store-ground beef, I recommend getting the market ground (in-market, using scraps).  That's going to be the freshest and most tasty.  Of course, I recommend doing the below - grind your own.


Meatloaf - Ingredients
I used plain, pre-made bread crumbs here. You can make your own, or use any other variety, as long as it's finely ground up.

If you are using a more fatty grind, you can use 2% milk.

Grind the beef (skip this part if using pre-bought).

Meatloaf - Sliced beef
You can use whatever grind you want.  For this loaf, I ended up using 1/2 tip and 1/2 rib eye.  Slice the meat into thin strips.
Meatloaf - Seasoned beef
Season with the Lawry's and parsley, and then put in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the surface is slightly frozen (this makes it easier to grind)
Meatloaf - Griding Beef
Use your grinders directions.  I use a Kitchen Stand Mixer with the Grinder Attachment. At this step, I added a few handful of chopped onions as I put the sliced beef in the grinder (I find it adds a bit more flavor, and a interesting texture).  
Meatloaf - Ground beef
I used the coarse grinder attachment for the first pass, and then ground 1/2 of the already ground beef with the fine attachment.  This will give the loaf a bit of a different texture - a nice blend of tender, moist beef and some more chunky.

Assemble the meat loaf

Meatloaf - Premix
Add the beef and the remaining ingredients.  Go light on he wet to start with.  You can use all three eggs - but I recommend using one egg white and two yolks.
Meatloaf - Mixed Wet
Here's what it looks like with the wet mixed (yeah, nasty, huh?)
Meatloaf - Mix Dry
Add in the bread crumbs.

This is where it can vary.  If you want a really thick, dense loaf, go a bit lighter on the milk and some of the other wet, and put less bread in.  If you want the meat to go farther, or want a lighter loaf, you can keep adding a balance of the wet and dry ingredients. 

Meatloaf - In pan
Continue to add until you can form the ingredients into a ball (kind of like making bread or pizza crust). Work it into a loaf shape, pictured here. The loaf will have the correct balance of wet to dry when it will keep its shape.
Meatloaf - With Milk
You can optionally pour a bit milk over it (No idea why - also not sure why I put the indentations in - just learned it that way I guess! :)
Meatloaf - Cooked
Cook in a pre-headed 350 degree oven, uncovered, for about 1 hour.  To check for doneness, stick a knife in - if it comes back out mostly dry, and the loaf feels firm, it's done.
Meatloaf - Ketchup
You can optionally add a layer of sauce to the outside.  I usually just use Ketchup - it gives the crust a nicer look.  Just spread a bit on top and put back in the oven for about 15 minutes (NOTE: Don't cook this much longer - the ketchup will get stringy and taste nasty if cooked too long).
Meatloaf - Final
So this ended up with a nice red curst on top, a solid brown on the side and bottom, and great solid middle with a bit of texture...
Meatloaf - Final
.. and tasted GREAT! 

As I said, this was a basic Meatloaf.  You can add just about anything.  I like a small amount of finely chopped mushroom and a bit o corn.  You can use barbecue sauce to spice it up instead of Ketchup, use Italian bred crumbs instead of plain, use different kinds of meat, like Turkey, and chance the spices to whatever you like.