How to make a meatloaf. For G.
First get all your ingredients. You can see I use premade breadcrumbs and jarred minced garlic. I use fresh garlic for cooking on the stove, but for baking meatloaf, the jarred stuff works well, and it comes in an olive oil that works it way through the meatloaf and makes it taste sooooo good! It's definitely worth keeping on hand.
Ketchup, salt, breadcrumbs, Rob's "special rub"*, minced garlic and an egg. Not pictured is the white onion.
I took a softball sized white onion and chopped up slightly less than one quarter of it. This makes about 1/4 of a cup of chopped white onion. You have to make sure the pieces aren't too big, or they won't get soft. Gross.
Meatloaf needs meat! Traditional meatloaf calls for 1 lb. of beef and 1 lb. of pork. I try to limit our beef consumption and we don't do pork, so this is 1 lb. of bison meat on the bottom and 1 lb. of turkey on top.
Add the ketchup. Honestly, my measurement for this is "Sqirrrrt. Skeeeeeee-werrrrrt!" Maybe 1/4, 1/3 of a cup?
Add the egg.
Throw in the garlic. I think I put in a teaspoon and a half. Ish. I dunno. But that sounds right.
Add this much salt. It's maybe half a teaspoon? Maybe a full one. I never used to cook with salt until a month ago. I figured why put it IN the food when I'll just put some ON the food? But having it cook in there does something wonderful to the meat. I don't know what, but I like it.
Add the breadcrumbs. This is about 3/4 of a cup. You can add or substitute oatmeal, too. Some people tear up bread and throw it in, but I'm not a fan. It makes weird textureiness.
Add the spices. This is Rob's basic rub*.
In goes the onion.
Now you mix. There is only one way to mix a meatloaf: by hand. I always make Rob do it! You need to get it thoroughly mixed without spending a lot of time mixing; if you take too long, your meatloaf could get dry and tough. This is also the part where you infuse the love (because you have to put love in everything that you cook) and you just can't do that effectively with a spoon or a mixer.
Trust me on this.
You have to put it into a pan, now. I like using my round one, and forming the meatloaf into a half-sphere. Some people put it in a loaf pan like a loaf of bread. Some people are doing it wrong.
Pat it in place.
"Frost" it with ketchup or barbecue sauce, or you can whip up a yummy glaze of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.
Put in a meat thermometer. This way you don't have to worry about timing it, and you don't have to poke at it to see if it's done. Poking while it's cooking will dry it out if you do it too much. Make sure the timer is in the fattest, deepest part of your meatloaf. Until last night, I had never timed a meatloaf, so I had no clue how long it took. But I kept an eye on the clock for blogging purposes. It takes an hour at 350 degrees F. Still, you don't want to go by "it's been in the oven for an hour", you want to go by "it has reached 170 degrees F" (you can go lower, I think, if you aren't using poultry.)
Put it in the oven with the thermometer facing so you can see it.
Take it out and serve it!
*Rob's basic rub is a bunch of spices, based in pepper. I have no idea what all it is. You can just make up your own spices to put in. If you aren't keeping kosher, Parmesan cheese is awesome in a meatloaf.
How to make a meatloaf. For G.