Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mysteries of Meatloaf

I was planning to blog about Chocolate Pecan Torte today, but last Sunday, guest blogger Lesa Holstine revealed that her husband would be happy eating nothing but meatloaf, cheese, and buckeyes. Consequently, meatloaf became a topic of discussion at my house and landed on the menu. To be honest, I've made a lot of dry, boring meatloaf. I've never quite had a reliable recipe -- until now.

People put all sorts of interesting things in meatloaf, but I suspect that it's usually best in relatively simple form. My friend, Susan, mixes oatmeal and tomato sauce into the meat. Oatmeal seemed an odd choice to me, but Paula Deen uses it, too. Instead of tomato sauce, though, Paula uses diced tomatoes with the juice. The sauce on top appears to be an almost universal choice, although some replace the mustard with dried mustard.

Using Susan and Paula's recipes as guides, I made two meatloaves. One with expected ingredients, and one in which I substituted red lentils for oatmeal and added an apple. I liked the apple in the meatloaf, but the lentils tasted potato-ey and changed the texture too much. Next time, I'm adding bacon across the top!

Classic Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix all the ingredients (except the topping) together and shape into a loaf. Stir the topping ingredients well and spread over top. Bake one hour.




  1. Oh too funny! I saw your picture of the pecan torte under the "Mysteries of Meatloaf" heading, and was intrigued!

    I'm still intrigued, actually. I've never put oatmeal in my meatloaf, and it sounds wonderful. Good tip!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Sounds delish and I bet a lot of people ask you for that chocolate torte recipe. Looks fabulous.

  3. This is the week for comfort food! I love
    meatloaf, and I've never put oatmeal in mine.
    I'll have to try it. The torte looks to die for, BTW, so I'll be waiting on that recipe.

  4. I'm the oddball here, I guess, because I usually do add oatmeal to my meatloaf, but I've never added tomatoes or tomato sauce. My family loves meatloaf and this sounds like a great new recipe to try.

    Can't wait for the torte!


  5. Props to the Domestic Diva! - Meatloaf is definitely a great comfort food and one of those things that you don't really think about but when someone starts talking about it you HAVE to have it. NOW I want some yours and I can see that's what we'll be eating this week! (Also agree with everyone above - that torte looks SOOOO good. Hope it's a tease for next week!!)

    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. I don't think I've ever made meatloaf the same way twice. Soda crackers, Ritz crackers, oatmeal, bread soaked in milk - I've tried them all. However, my "experiments" are pretty hit and miss with how they turn out.

  7. My mom made what we used to call "marriage proposal meatloaf" because the rumor was that my dad proposed after she made it for him. I have no idea if that's actually true, but it makes a good story. The recipe is a lot like Krista's, except I leave out the green pepper, and add a couple of tablespoons tomato sauce in the meat mixture along with the tomatoes. I also much prefer using saltines instead of oatmeal, as they seem to add more flavor. I also season mine with some Tony's Cajun seasoning. For topping, it's either plain tomato sauce for me, or if I'm making it for my husband, I make a package of onion gravy according to the directions and pour it over for the last ten minutes of baking. I think it'll be a week with meatloaf in it here, too...

  8. I have tried dozens of recipes over the years but finally found what I think is the perfect one in Texas Co-op Power magazine. It's got the classic ingredients--ground beef, onion, celery, ketchup, mustard, Worcesterfshire, and other stuff. You put it in your iron skillet and put that in the oven. I love it.

  9. And, I'm one who tried it with oatmeal, and didn't like it. I go with a mixture of ground beef, saltines, and canned bread crumbs, sauteed onions, one egg, and, until now, ketchup. Then it has ketchup across the top with strips of bacon for flavoring.

    But, my nephew (who's in cooking school), has made and sells a BBQ sauce, called Gentle Ben's BBQ sauce. It's been a big hit in a restaurant and grocery stores in northern Ohio. My sister sent me 8 jars of it. So, I tried it in the meatloaf instead of ketchup. Jim always liked my meatloaf, but this BBQ adds so much flavor. Definitely comfort food!

    Lesa -

  10. And, the best part about meatloaf is the meatloaf sandwiches the next day. Very tasty!!!