I've been fooling with meatloaf recipes for a dozen years. I think I've finally got it! The result is a somewhat minimalist approach the reduces seasonng and uses breadcrumbs as a binder, so no egg.
A nice-sized meat loaf is made of 1/2 pound ground pork and 1 pound ground beef. You generally can't buy 1/2 pound of ground pork, so buy 1 pound of ground pork and 2 pounds of ground beef. Freeze the extra. You will want another meat loaf soon anyway. (You can use ground turkey and pork, too. The result is different, but just as good, and possibly less arteriosclerotic.)
- 1 pound very lean (94%) ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- one small yellow onion, or half a medium/large one
- 1/2 cup store-bought bread crumbs, e.g. Progresso plain.
- 2/3 cup ketchup, divided
- 3 TB brown sugar
- 1 TB Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Seasoned salt and optional garlic powder
Put the beef and pork out for an hour or so before your start or you'll freeze your pinkies.
Measure 1/3 cup (125 g) ketchup and add the brown sugar. Add the optional Worcestershire sauce. Stir and set aside, Stir some more every 30 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Chop the onion and sauté in butter until the onion begins to turn clear. Watch the temperature; burned onion is bitter. Remove from heat.
You could also sauté some celery, red bell pepper, etc. with the onion. These will change the flavor of the meat loaf. Experiment.
Break up the ground beef and pork into pieces smaller than a golf ball and put the pieces in a large mixing bowl. Alternate the two kinds of meat. Toss everything around with a spatula so that the beef lumps and pork lumps are mostly evenly mixed.
Salt with seasoned salt, perhaps a half teaspoon or less; don't overdo it. Season with a little garlic powder if you like. Again, don't overdo it.
Add the bread crumbs, sautéed onion, and 1/3 cup of ketchup. Moosh everything around with your hands until the beef and pork are uniformly mixed.
Form the meat into a sort of log and press it into the loaf pan. Stir the ketchup and brown sugar mixture again and glaze to top of the loaf, spreading the glaze evenly with a spatula or basting brush.
Bake at 375 for one hour or to a temperature of 155 degrees.The temperature will continue to rise after you remove the loaf from the oven. Don't overcook or it'll be crumbly.
Allow the loaf to rest for ten minutes. Use a large spatula (or two!) to lift it out of the baking dish and onto a cutting board. Only slice what you need. The leftover meat loaf (if any) slices easier when cold.
Orignially posted: 2012-02-26