Monday, October 15, 2007

Classic Meatloaf - National Meatloaf Appreciation Day

When I read that Serious Eats had declared Thursday, October 18th as "National Meatloaf Appreciation Day" I wanted to join in on the fun. What better comfort food is there than meatloaf? If you're like me, you probably enjoy meatloaf the way Mom always made it, usually a recipe handed down from her own mother. Of course, this varies from household to household. I've tried several different recipes over the years, but always go back to Martha Stewart's classic meatloaf recipe. Try baking your meatloaf on a baking sheet instead of a loaf pan; you'll be surprised to see what a nice crust it gets.

Classic Meatloaf
3 slices white sandwich bread
1/3 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1/2 medium onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup ketchup
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place bread in food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in milk. Set aside, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine beef, onion, garlic, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add bread-milk mixture, and mix very gently with a fork (do not overmix).

Place meat mixture on prepared baking sheet, and form into a loaf about 9 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide.

Bake, brushing twice with remaining 1/4 cup ketchup during baking, until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees, 45 to 55 minutes. Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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