Savory Meatloaf: a recipe to impress the parents.

Spring semester is finished in three weeks. For many of us, May includes a trip home to see the beloved ma and pa. Few things impress parents as much as seeing their offspring return home with newly gained knowledge and abilities and then putting those into practice. So, I offer you a parent-pleasing recipe to convince your folks that you are not simply subsisting on Top Ramen and boxed mac-n-cheese. It will surely warm the cockles of their heart to see you creating something from scratch in their kitchen. Oh, and if anyone actually knows what “cockles” are or how they are warmed, please let me know.

The recipe for this week is savory meatloaf. Now, it was recently made apparent to me that some folks have negative childhood memories of this traditional meal being dry, without taste or heavy. Before you run and hide, give this recipe a try. It is moist, flavorful, non-greasy and great comfort food. Although it has more ingredients than my usual recipes, it is still relatively simple to prepare and will leave your parents impressed with how far you’ve come.

Ingredients:

1 small chopped onion (or ¾ of a large one)

3 minced garlic cloves

2 teaspoon olive oil (butter or vegetable oil are fine substitutes)

½ teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I spelled that right on the first try, crazy)

¼ teaspoon Hot Sauce

2 eggs

½ cup milk or yogurt (I used ½ sour cream ½ milk once, and it worked)

2 pounds of hamburger

2/3 cup quick oats

1/3 cup minced parsley (fresh is best, dried is fine)

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup vinegar

That was a lot of ingredients, I know, but I believe in you. Here’s how to turn it into something grand:

  1.      Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2.      Sautè the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium-high heat until slightly brown and soft. Nothing like the smell of roasting garlic emanating throughout the house to perk up taste buds. Set aside to cool.
  3.      Combine the thyme, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, eggs and milk/yogurt in a small bowl.  This is going to make a quite unattractive color, I will warn you.
  4.      Separately and in a larger bowl, mix the hamburger, quick oats, parsley, onions and garlic together. Stir this well until thoroughly combined. You may want to knead it with your hands as spoons are known to bend under the pressure.
  5.      Combine the contents of the smaller bowl with the meat mixture and thoroughly mix once again.
  6.      Butter a large glass bread pan or small glass casserole pan and evenly spread the meatloaf mixture in it, flattening the top.
  7.      Next, comes the glaze. In a small saucepan, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar. Put half the glaze onto the meatloaf before cooking, and heat the rest on low until it thickens a bit, to serve as sauce. Personally, I like to double the glaze recipe, and save ¾ of it to serve with the finished meatloaf. It’s delicious.
  8.      Cook the meatloaf for an hour and then check it. Signs of doneness are a dark brown color (which is why I recommend a glass pan) or a temperature of 160° F. Depending on what size pan used, it may need more time.
  9.      After removing it from the oven, allow the meatloaf to rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving. Removing it sooner will likely result in crumbles.

My favorite way to eat this is with mashed potatoes and the brown sugar glaze.  Variations can include topping the meatloaf with bacon before cooking, adding additional vegetables to the meat mixture (like pureed corn or green beans) and experimenting with spices. Overall, meatloaf is a pretty allowing recipe.

I’m always interested in feedback and seeing your recipe results. Tweet me @linguistic_love, or Instagram your cooking creations with the hashtag #KitchenKorner. Go forth (or home) and conquer!