Comfort Food With A Twist – Meatloaf

This is some real comfort food if there ever was some.  It’s good old fashioned meatloaf with some creamy mashed potatoes.  But it’s not your ordinary diner-style meatloaf.  It’s not dense and dry and covered in brown gravy.  No, this meatloaf recipe is a twist on that old recipe and produces a light and juicy meatloaf topped with a sweet and sour glaze made from ketchup and brown sugar.  It also is pretty quick to prepare because all of your vegetables just need to be chopped in large chunks and then ground in the food processor.  You don’t need to stand for hours dicing celery, carrots and onions.  It also incorporates three kinds of ground meat to make the meatloaf light and full of flavor.  I also use Pepperidge Farms as my white bread of choice when I make this recipe.  Why only Pepperidge Farms?  When I was younger and used to go to the grocery store with my parents or my Grandma, I used to beg to buy a loaf of Pepperidge Farms bread.  I figured since it was so much more expensive than the other loaves than it had to be like a slice of heaven when you ate it.  I would explain to them the facts of how it was made with care by jolly looking bakers who kneaded the dough with their own hands with tender loving care.  I would tell them about the ovens where the bread was baked and how it was wrapped in paper and then placed in the plastic bag for extra freshness.  Not only that, but they wrapped it while it was still warm from the oven.  This is why too much television is bad for a small child to take part in every day!  My parents or my Grandma would stare at me in disbelief that here was this small child reciting facts he had learned from a bread commercial.  It must have been this scary little feeling inside of them that always made them tell me no.  My parents and Grandmother were tough because I remember begging (and many times probably crying and screaming) to buy a loaf of this special bread.  Why don’t they see what I see in this delicious loaf that is so much better than the other white breads out here on this rack?  Now that I have my own money, I always buy Pepperidge Farms white bread to use at home.  I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t necessarily taste any better, but it’s just the whole principle of the matter, if you get my drift.  Bread aside, if you are looking for a comfort food classic with a twist, give our meatloaf a try.  Your family will love it.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices Pepperidge Farms white bread, crusts removed and torn into large pieces (I just know it is the best!!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into eighths
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped into quarters
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into quarters
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 ounces ground beef chuck
  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 12 ounces ground veal
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pulse bread in a food processor until finely ground (you should have about 2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs).  Transfer to a medium bowl.

Pulse the large chunks of garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and parsley in food processor until finely chopped.  Remember to let the food processor do all the hard chopping work.  This is a huge time saver.

Add to breadcrumbs.  Add meats, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix together using your hands.

Transfer mixture to a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan.

Stir together remaining  1/2 cup ketchup and the brown sugar until smooth; brush onto meat.  I also poke six deep holes into the top of the meat with my finger before I brush on the ketchup mixture.  This enables the ketchup to penetrate farther down into the meatloaf and increase the flavor.

Set pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reaches 160 degrees, about 1 hour 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Always a family pleaser, this little meatloaf with a twist is great as your dinner’s main course and then equally as good the next day in a sandwich or two.  It is also easy to pair up with almost any side dish.  A potato dish, a vegetable dish…..it all works with meatloaf.  Hope you like this new twist on an old fashion main dish staple.  What old classics do you cook up with some modern twists to them?

4 thoughts on “Comfort Food With A Twist – Meatloaf

    • Hi. I think you will like it. Not like the old-time meatloaf. Tell Katherine that it’s either the meatloaf or you will make up something with 6 to 8 cups of mayo in it. She might give in with that threat. Talk to you soon.

  1. I suppose you can say I make the old fashion meatloaf (years of making the same thing) and never heard a complaint.
    You lived reciting commercials. You were quite small but Mr. Clean scared you to death. When that came on television, you were on my lap faster than I thought a little guy could run. Finally bought bottle of Mr. Clean, emptied out the contents, rinsed the bottle and let you carry the bottle with Mr. Clean’s face on it and you started to accept him. But at night Mr. Clean was as far as possible away from your bedroom. If I remember right Mr. Clean slept in the refrigerator and couldn’t come out until you took him out.

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