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Old 01-15-2012, 08:30 AM   #1
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Default Help! Mom's Meatloaf

My Mom passed away recently and along with so many other things I cherish I miss her cooking. Like my Grandmother before her my Mom didn't really use or write down her recipes. So, now I am trying to recreate some of her standards by memory. I tried to make her turkey and stuffing for Christmas and it was reasonably close. Likewise, I was able to make a very similar version of her turkey soup afterwards. Now my goal is to make her meatloaf. I think I have the ingredients down...I think. This is what I remember: About one pound of ground beef, bread crumbs (not sure how much), an egg (or two??), ketchup (a cup, I think), onions if desired, seasoning.

So, what I need help with is some basic knowledge. For example, for how long do you cook it? Do you add water to the pan? How do you know when it is done? What degree of heat is needed?

I'm not really looking for a recipe because I want to make her version but I'm hoping for some tips and input. Any help is welcome!

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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The recipe that used to be on the back of Quaker Oats boxes isn't too shabby. We add a little tomato paste and a couple strips of bacon on top before it goes into the oven.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...hyp2A-K3rmqDAQ

Ain't nuffin' like a meatloaf sammich.

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Old 01-15-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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Thank you, Smithnwesson! So, it looks like from the recipes I'm reading that it is pretty standard to use one egg per 1 1/2 to two pounds of meat. Then baked on 350 for one hour (or a little more).

Keep the helpful hints coming! I'm trying this tonight!
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Nancy -

Remember that your ultimate objective is the meatloaf sammich. Make enough that there will be leftovers!

Some good bread and some leftover meatloaf and some melted Asiago and some basil and some marinara sauce and a little oregano and maybe some thinly sliced onions.




(This isn't my photo, but it's the way that we do it and it doesn't suck.)

Post some pics!

- Jim
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Are you following this thread, Jigen?

Does it not bring on a sense if national urgency?



-Jim
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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I would say to not add water, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

The recipe itself sounds very flavorful.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by smithnwesson View Post
Nancy -

Remember that your ultimate objective is the meatloaf sammich. Make enough that there will be leftovers!

Some good bread and some leftover meatloaf and some melted Asiago and some basil and some marinara sauce and a little oregano and maybe some thinly sliced onions.




(This isn't my photo, but it's the way that we do it and it doesn't suck.)

Post some pics!

- Jim
LOL Jim, my goal is to make it like my mother's. We never made meatloaf sandwiches but that does sound yummy. If there are leftovers I'll give it a try!
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BBW Betty View Post
I would say to not add water, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

The recipe itself sounds very flavorful.
Thanks Betty!
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by smithnwesson View Post
Nancy -

Remember that your ultimate objective is the meatloaf sammich. Make enough that there will be leftovers!

Some good bread and some leftover meatloaf and some melted Asiago and some basil and some marinara sauce and a little oregano and maybe some thinly sliced onions.

- Jim
You just made the most boring dish sound delicious! (I am not a big meatloaf fan. Mom's was/is nothing to call home about and pretty much turned me off of it forever.)
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:21 PM   #10
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Nancy, I spent years trying to perfect a meatloaf recipe. They were all just so-so. Then I tried the recipe on the side of the Liptons Onion soup mix box. It is freaking awesome. My husband now asks for it and I have converted many over to this recipe.

It is super simple. My hints that I would give are to mix the wet ingredients first in the bowl, then add the dry, then add clumps of the meat. Use clean hands to gently mix the ingredients together without over mixing. That causes tough meat. Then form gently into a loaf in a larger pan, not a loaf pan. This allows the fat to run away from the meat and not drown it. Also use 80/20 chopped meat.

Follow the cooking directions on the box, including the ten minute resting period.

I usually make a double batch (4 lbs.) as two loaves in my biggest roasting pan. After the second loaf is cooled, I slice it and wrap with was paper in between and freeze for later. That is if we don't gobble up so much of the first loaf that we want to dig in to the second one right away.

You should give it a try, I guarantee you will like it.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #11
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Good Eats, "Daily Grind", 2nd Part (starting at 1:50)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gip89zEyiM

This is Alton Brown's version of a meat loaf, which as he prepares the loaf gives lots of tips on making the perfect meatloaf.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:51 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone! Well, I tried it and it was so-so. The meatloaf was fine, baked to perfection but it lacked something favor-wise. I'm pretty sure I didn't add enough of something. My Mom was the type of cook to throw a dash of this or a pinch of that into whatever she was making and never remember all that she added. I guess it is going to be a process. Otherwise, it was good. Just not Mom's.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:09 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone! Well, I tried it and it was so-so. The meatloaf was fine, baked to perfection but it lacked something favor-wise. I'm pretty sure I didn't add enough of something. My Mom was the type of cook to throw a dash of this or a pinch of that into whatever she was making and never remember all that she added. I guess it is going to be a process. Otherwise, it was good. Just not Mom's.
My mother puts onion soup mix in almost everything. I am wondering if this could be a missing ingredient to give it that boost you are looking for? Just a thought.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:42 PM   #14
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My mother puts onion soup mix in almost everything. I am wondering if this could be a missing ingredient to give it that boost you are looking for? Just a thought.
Yes, please try the recipe on the Lipton onion soup mix box before you give up. You will be very glad you tried it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #15
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Yes, please try the recipe on the Lipton onion soup mix box before you give up. You will be very glad you tried it.
I didn't even see you had mentioned using Lipton's....I use whatever brand is available but onion soup mix really does help perk up a wide variety of dishes.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:46 PM   #16
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Nancy, What kind of seasoning did you use?

We go pretty plain with salt, pepper and grated onions, but we also use a little garlic powder/salt (depending on the day.) You can definitely tell if its not there, but you don't need to use a whole lot.

Just a suggestion.

Otherwise, can you describe what flavor you were missing?
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by NancyGirl74 View Post
My Mom passed away recently and along with so many other things I cherish I miss her cooking. Like my Grandmother before her my Mom didn't really use or write down her recipes. So, now I am trying to recreate some of her standards by memory. I tried to make her turkey and stuffing for Christmas and it was reasonably close. Likewise, I was able to make a very similar version of her turkey soup afterwards. Now my goal is to make her meatloaf. I think I have the ingredients down...I think. This is what I remember: About one pound of ground beef, bread crumbs (not sure how much), an egg (or two??), ketchup (a cup, I think), onions if desired, seasoning.

So, what I need help with is some basic knowledge. For example, for how long do you cook it? Do you add water to the pan? How do you know when it is done? What degree of heat is needed?

I'm not really looking for a recipe because I want to make her version but I'm hoping for some tips and input. Any help is welcome!

Thanks!
I use all of the same items that you use, Nancy. On occasion I use oatmeal, or crushed up saltines in place of the bread crumbs. The oatmeal will make it a little less dense and a little more mushy texture (depending on how much you use) and the crackers make it more dense and sturdy, like for sandwiches. On occasion I mix 1/2 bread crumbs and 1/2 oatmeal--put in a dash of onion powder, onion salt or soup (but I prefer real onion), and throw in a small handful (dash) of diced red pepper (just for taste). You really can tinker around and make it your own recipe. I hand mix mine until the eggs and crumbs are well mixed into the meat but the meat isn't falling apart (holds its shape). Put it in a wide baking dish and DO NOT ADD WATER. Then I top it off with the ketchup and add in little round white potatoes which cook in the drippings (new potatoes are nice, too). I bake it at 350 degrees for between 45 mins and an hour. I check it at around 45 mins depending on the size.
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