Saturday, 17 August 2013


Could anything be more classic Americana than meatloaf?  Could anything be more controversial than meatloaf?  In these times yes of course, but meatloaf can divide Americans as much as any political agenda. So do you really need yet another meatloaf recipe?  Yes, actually you do. I served this recently for our dinner group and I brought up this controversial topic of meatloaf.  The reactions were mixed.  Some have very fond childhood memories of meatloaf on the dinner table and some have not-so-fond childhood memories of how they hated that it was "meatloaf night" on mom's recipe rotation.  Why this dichotomy among Americans?  Hmm....some are bothered that they are eating a loaf of meat. I say "get over it!". Some are bothered that it is just a hunk of beef with a bunch of stuff mixed into it. I say, "get over it!"  Some are on the fence about meatloaf but get bothered that the stuff mixed into it is bland and tasteless and does nothing to elevate the humble ground beef.  I say..."AHA! Then THIS is the recipe for you!"

Let's get started...

1 Onion, 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 Cup parsley leaves (no stems)

Chop them finely or pulse in a food processor

While the onion mixture is sauteing, soak 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs in 1 Cup buttermilk

Combine well

Once your onions are browned, add the garlic until aromatic. Then add the tomato paste and cook out the tomato paste until darkened a little. About 2 minutes.

Done and ready to go in the beef!

Here we have 2lbs beef, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, buttermilk/Panko mixture and onion mixture.
Let your onion mixture cool a little until it is comfortable to the touch.

Mix well

Form into a loaf and put your sauce on it.  Oh! I forgot...on to the sauce...

1/2 C BBQ sauce, 1/2 C Ketchup and 1/4 C dark brown sugar

Combine until brown sugar has dissolved.

WARNING: be careful of cross contamination! I used 2 utensils, one for spooning the BBQ glaze and one for spreading it on the meatloaf.  If you intend to serve the extra glaze on the side during your meal (which I recommend that you do), then you especially want to make sure that the utensil used to spread the glaze on the RAW meatloaf NEVER touches the glaze that you will serve your guests.

Glaze is now spread evenly and ready for a 425 F oven

Enjoy with mashed potatoes or potato wedges for the ultimate American comfort meal.

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar

For the Meatloaf:
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs (Japanese style breadcrumbs - the same type used for tempura)
1 cup buttermilk
2 clove garlic, minced
2-3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 lbs. ground beef (whatever kind of beef you like - or use a pork/beef combo)
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
Olive oil - for saute

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined well.  Alternately, you could combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and place over low heat.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions until browned then add garlic and cook until garlic is aromatic. Add parsley and tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine Panko and buttermilk and set aside for 5 minutes. Then in a large bowl, place beef, salt and pepper, the onion mixture, Worcestershire sauce and the Panko mixture. Mix with your hands until just combined.

On a rimmed baking pan (9x13 glass dish works well), form the mixture into a loaf shape sitting in the center of the pan, with all four sides exposed. Brush sides and top with some glaze, then bake for about 40-50 minutes, removing the pan 30 minutes into the cooking process to brush on more glaze. (At the end of baking, you will not have used all of the glaze mixture – just keep it on the side to serve as a sauce.)  Cool for 10 minutes, slice and enjoy.

WARNING: Be careful of cross-contamination!  Use 2 utensils to avoid this.  Use one utensil to pour the sauce glaze on the meat.  This utensil should never touch the raw meat. Use the second utensil (designated to touch the raw beef) to then evenly spread the sauce glaze onto the raw beef.

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