The original Neatloaf recipe was in Jay. F. Rosenberg's The Impoverished Student's Handbook of Cookery, Drinkery, and Housekeepery. Everyone should own a copy. You can buy one from the Reed College Bookstore.1 (Read the footnote, OK?)
I thought this recipe was original, but it turns out there was a version of it in The New Art Cookbook from the General Electric Kitchen Institute, publiished in 1936!
- 3/4 c. water
- 1 packet dried onion soup
- 1-1/2 c. dry breadcrumbs or panko
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c. catsup (substitute ketchup if catsup is not available)
- 1 pound ground beef, 96% lean
- 1 pound ground pork, reduced fat if available.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, combine the water and soup mix. Stir until the mix is dissolved. Add bread crumbs; mix well. Whisk the eggs (or shake in a jar) until white and yolk are well mixed. Add the eggs, catsup, and meat to the bowl and mix thoroughly, trying not to overwork the meat.
You can bake this free-form in a pan or in a 5 by 9" loaf pan. A glass loaf pan works best. Decorate the top with a stripe of catsup or maybe make a catsup and brown sugar glaze. Bake for about 75 minutes, then let it rest for five to ten minutes before slicing.
For the adventurous, J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, suggests forming the loaf in a pan, inverting the loaf pan onto a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil, then baking for about half an hour to set the shape. WIth spatulas and towels, remove the loaf pan and finish baking. López-Alt says that exposes more surface area to browning, thus improving the flavor. He also says if you're going to add vegetables to the meatloaf, they should be chopped fine and precooked.
For an all-comfort-food meal, serve with scalloped potatoes and maybe a green vegetable. Make sandwiches with the leftovers, if any.
1 This is more like a pamphlet than a book; it's less than 50 pages. Buy it anyway; you'll be glad you did, and part of the purchase price goes to the Reed College Scholarship Fund. Also, the Reed bookstore reorganizes things far too often. If the link above doesn't work, try an author search on "Rosenberg."
Orignially posted: 2019-11-29