Monday, April 3, 2017

Meatloaf Monday Memories

When I was growing up, there was a stretch of time when every Monday was meatloaf for dinner. Every. Single. Monday. Meatloaf Monday. My dad and brother would smother their meatloaf in ketchup and it was revolting. Even worse was cold meatloaf smothered in cold ketchup. To this day, I hate ketchup. It can be an ingredient in something, but certainly not spread on a sandwich or atop meatloaf or as a dipping sauce for fries. Gross.

I ended up despising meatloaf. It wasn't until I was in my late 20's and living on my own that I started to again eat meatloaf. Mostly, it was an easy thing to make and would feed me for a week. I still didn't think it was particularly tasty, but it was quick and easy and made a lot.

Meatloaf is kind of like meatballs or red sauce: everyone has a favorite family recipe. Some people use all beef, some mix ground meats, some add pureed vegetables. We don't have a family recipe. We have our own "recipe" except it's not really a recipe. We never follow a recipe for meatloaf. We just start tossing stuff in a big bowl.

It's always approximately 1 & 1/3 lb ground beef from Costco (because of how the beef we buy is packaged), about 1 lb ground pork (meatloaf is better when it's a mix of beef & pork), an egg (maybe 2), some Worcestershire, some mustard (usually Dijon), some chopped onion, breadcrumbs or slices of squishy white bread soaked in milk, maybe a sprinkle of parsley, maybe a dollop of tomato paste. Shape into a loaf. I think baking meatloaf in a loaf pan is ridiculous - just shape it into a loaf on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake it.

Then there is glaze. Glaze is something my mom never did for meatloaf. I didn't even realize glazed meatloaf was thing until my mid-30's. I thought glazed meatloaf was weird meatloaf. Glazed? Seriously? But then one day I thought, well, OK, America's Test Kitchen thinks it is a good thing. So maybe we should try it?

We tried it. It's really tasty. It's a necessary part of our meatloaf now.
Our glaze:

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp light brown sugar

Heat above ingredients in sauce pan until syrupy. Spread half of glaze over cooked meatloaf & broil until glaze bubbles and browns a bit. Brush with remaining glaze and broil again until bubbling & browning.

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