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Tasty Meatloaf Basics

I was not one of those kids who grew up eating meatloaf. In fact, I was 21 the first time I ever tasted it. I always thought it would be horrible, but my mother gave me this recipe and after my first bite I was hooked. Though my recipe varies each time depending on what veggies I have on hand, the basic foundation of this dish remains the same. It is my handy-dandy Meatloaf Basics that create a moist and delicious family meal.

The first thing you need to know about Meatloaf is how to make it moist. Here’s how…

This recipe serves 4 (or two with leftovers for sandwiches tomorrow :D)

In a large mixing bowl combine:

2 eggs

1/4 c Ketchup (or more if you want)

1/4 c Milk

Several shakes of Worcestershire sauce

About 1 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

About 1 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard

Garlic Salt and Pepper to Taste

About 1 Tbsp Garlic Paste or Crushed Garlic

Next tear the crusts off 2 slices of fresh bread (white or wheat doesn’t matter). Then tear into piece and mix into the bowl. The fresh bread instead of breadcrumbs will make a nice moist meatloaf.

You will end up with a really disgusting looking mush. This is perfect!

Fold in about a pound of beef. If you like to use a pork/beef combo that works well too. Usually just a good wooden spoon is enough to combine the mixture, but if you (or the kiddies) are so inclined, do get your hands in there to get everything nice and mixed.

At this point you can add whatever veggies you like. This is a great opportunity to sneak in vegetables for kids who will only eat meat, so the more vegetables the merrier. (This is how I trick my nephews… works like a charm. The best part is after they’ve gobbled it down, I tell them all the veggies they just ate and then I laugh as they run screaming to the bathroom to hurl. That didn’t really happen of course, I’m just saying.)

I often add about 1/4-1/2 cup each of grated carrots, tomatoes, multi-colored bell peppers (looks lovely in the finished loaf!), and onions. You could even throw in some greens if you like. I once made an italian Meatloaf with spinach and zucchini, topped with Marinara instead of ketchup but it tasted too much like a giant meatball.

This time I added the secret ingredient of 1/4 cup of Stovetop stuffing. I don’t personally eat cooked stovetop, but I love using the dry mix in lieu of breadcrumbs. Just a little bit helps hold the loaf together, and the bigger crumb pieces soften up and don’t dry out your meatloaf.

Bake the meatloaf for about 30-40 minutes in a 350 oven.

The second thing you need to know is how to make a good glaze. Sure just plain ketchup works fine but a glorious glaze will ensure lots of “oohs” and “ahhs.”

In a small saucepan combine:

about 1/4 c Ketchup

Several shakes of Worcestershire

1 Tbsp Whole grain mustard (do NOT under any circumstances use yellow mustard. Why? Because nothing so unnaturally neon yellow should be consumed by a human, that’s why!)

2-3 Tbsp Honey

2-3 Tbsp Whiskey (Jack Daniel’s is preferred)

Simmer until the alcohol is cooked out then pour over the hot Meatloaf when it has about 10 minutes left in the oven.

You will end up with a gorgeous looking glaze that will really add some delicious flavour to your already amazing Meatloaf. When its ready, slice and serve. Garnish with a drizzle of ketchup. Mmmm.