Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Meatloaf can be awfully terrible. I know many people whose only real exposure to this staple is from cheap diners and bad home recipes that their mothers used. It's one of those dishes that's relatively easy to make poorly - not because it's tricky or anything, but because a basic meatloaf recipe can be bland and lifeless. If you think a meatloaf needs ketchup or A1 to be good, you've never had a good meatloaf.

My meatloaf recipe is, unsurprisingly, a bit on the spicy side, and uses a few traditional Italian ingredients like hot sausage and parmiggiano reggiano. I also use a lot of spices that would be right at home on a steak or prime rib. Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, parsley - all minor goodies that make for a fantastic loaf. This is one of those recipes, like risotto, that you can really easily play around and be creative with.

Last night I made a pretty fantastic loaf, along with some steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.


Preheat oven to 425

1.5 lbs ground round (better than ground chuck because it's less fatty; there's enough fat already and you don't want the breadcrumbs to soak up too much of it. I tend to go leaner rather than more fatty for this reason - so if you have a choice between sirloin and chuck, go with the sirloin)
3 hot Italian sausages with the casing cut off
1/3 c freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano
1 c bread crumbs
2 tsp kosher salt
4 minced garlic cloves
1 c minced onion (about half a medium onion)
2 tbsp minced parsley (fresh works best)
1 tsp crushed rosemary
2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
...basically add whatever spices you like. I like steak and prime rib seasoning, sometimes some Cajun, etc.
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
3-4 eggs, lightly beaten (I use 3 if they're large or jumbo eggs, 4 if they're smaller)

Combine everything in a big bowl and mash it up with your hands until it's all combined. It takes a couple of minutes and is delightfully slimy.

Put the meat in to a loaf pan lined with aluminum foil that's been greased with olive oil or Pam.

Bake for 30 minutes and then turn down the temperature to 350 and cook for 30 minutes more. Sometimes I end up with a larger loaf that needs more time - just use a meet thermometer and cook until the center reads 160 or so.

...and that's it. It's really simple and absolutely fantastic. This same recipe can be used to make some killer burger patties. Amaze your friends at your next BBQ!

I steamed up some broccoli and made mashed potatoes and brown gravy as well.

We paired it with a wonderful suggestion from Brian at Gnarly Vines, a Vina Borgia Campo de Borja 2006. It's a super-inexpensive wine that after one bottle is one of my new favorite table wines. Rather simple and easy, but spicy enough to be interesting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm just learning to cook and trying my hand at some of the staples. I mde this meatloaf the other day and it was fantastic. Had a meatloaf sandwich today with grilled onions and swiss cheese that that was delightful as well.
Thanks for the recipes and for the great blog.

I notice on Clinton Hill Blog there's a post today about Cafe Martino on Myrtle struggling to survive. If you haven't been there, I'd recommend it. Maybe if you have a good experience you could post about it as well and bring much-needed attention to this great neighborhood restaurant.