Way back in the 1970s, I loved reading, so I joined the Double Day Book Club to save money on books. They had a lot of 'clubs' like that back then. By the time you added shipping & handling, I'm not sure there was much savings. I don't know that I still have a lot of those books, other than a set of John Jakes books that came out ca. 1976, but I know I DO still have my favorite cookbooks which I ordered from them.
I have a number of "go to" recipes in there. One is for meat loaf. The recipe is titled "Beef and Pork Loaf". I'd had these books for 20+ years before trying this recipe in 1997 and I followed it exactly. You can see that I added notes.
|The whole recipe.|
I don't make it exactly as printed anymore and I don't bother measuring very accurately either, and sometimes I'll use a slightly different ingredient.
I don't bother turning the bread into crumbs, nor is it soft or white. In fact, this is Milton's Multi-Grain bread and usually includes the heels. I pour the milk over it straight from the fridge (cold) and just kind of wait until it's mushy - squishing it around with my hand now and then.
The egg gets beaten pretty well....
...and added to the bread/milk mixture and all mixed up so that any bread edges get soppy too.
Equal parts ground pork and ground beef...1 lb. each according to the recipe.
You'll see in the recipe, I noted 8-oz for the onion, but it can be whatever amount you want. If you're really gung-ho, use a nice big one. This one was a Maui White and probably more than 8-oz. Because Nick isn't overly fond of onion, I dice it up really fine (the recipe says minced). I've even lightly sauteed it on occasion.
Now this was what I thought was the weirdest thing to add to a meat loaf. Pickles! Gherkins to be precise and if you're like me, mincing things is a real pain, so I've found that my micro-plane does a great job at 'mincing' them.
The usuals, salt, pepper, a little Worcestershire sauce. The recipe calls for a whole tablespoon of salt. We found that to be way too salty, so I never use more than half that amount (1 1/2 teaspoons), and if anyone wants more salt, they can add it at the table.
I mix all the small stuff up together with the bread/milk mixture before adding the meats; it makes it easier to incorporate it completely.
All mixed, and this batch looks like I left the onion a bit larger than usual.
I dumped the meats in and mixed it thoroughly by hand.
I then shaped it into a nice loaf in my oblong Corning Ware baking dish and baked at 350F for 1 1/2 hours. You can put it on a rack in your baking dish/pan, or place it in a loaf pan or two. I've considered making small individual loaves at some point, which I imagine would not require as long to bake. I will usually take it out of the dish to a serving plate, and thus out of the oily drippings, as soon as I remove it from the oven; it then rests for about 5 minutes before being sliced.
This bakes up very well in the toaster oven, with the rack in the lower position and using the convection setting.
Not too long ago, I'd been seeing all the meatloaves topped with bacon via social media, so tried it. Yech, nope, did not like it that way. It is perfect just as it is. If you like a bit of catsup or bbq sauce spread over the top, I don't see why it couldn't be done.
As a child, my mom's meatloaf was just the basic ground beef, with dry oatmeal, catsup, an egg, salt and pepper. It was ok, but I think I just grew tired up it, and was looking for something that was more savory that would be good with a brown gravy over it. This one is that way. With using two pounds of meat, this makes a large meatloaf, so we have leftovers for several more meals. I like taking some slices of this and putting it on sourdough bread with barbeque sauce or mayonnaise and even some Provolone cheese.