Discover a Classic Beef Meatloaf that embodies tenderness, juiciness, and timeless comfort. This easy-to-follow recipe will become your go-to for crafting this beloved classic.
Achieving Meatloaf Perfection
One common mistake when preparing meatloaf is over-mixing the meat mixture, which can result in a dense and dry texture. In this recipe, we’ve got a trick up our sleeves. We’ll mix all the ingredients except for the beef first, ensuring an even distribution without the risk of over-mixing.
How to Make Classic Beef Meatloaf
- Start with ground beef containing at least 15% beef fat.
- In a large bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs, allowing them to absorb the moisture, which enhances the meatloaf’s juiciness.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the beef and topping.
- Gently incorporate the ground beef into the mixture, handling it as little as possible.
- Place the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan and coat it with the topping mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, for 55-60 minutes in a loaf pan positioned on a baking sheet.
Choosing the Right Meat
For a traditional meatloaf, beef is the classic choice. Opt for ground beef with an 85/15 fat ratio for a tender and juicy result. If you venture leaner, such as 90/10, expect a slight difference in flavor and texture. To combat potential dryness with leaner beef, consider grating onions for added moisture.
Three Meat Meatloaf
For an authentic twist, explore a Three Meat Meatloaf by combining:
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ pound ground veal
- ¼ pound ground pork
This trio of meats adds complexity and richness to your meatloaf, reminiscent of Italian restaurant classics.
Variations on Classic Beef Meatloaf
- Breadcrumbs: While our recipe uses classic dried breadcrumbs, feel free to experiment with panko breadcrumbs (increase to 2 ⅓ cups), ground saltine crackers (reduce salt by half if used), homemade breadcrumbs, or even stale bread.
- Toppings: Customize your meatloaf’s topping to suit your taste. Opt for sweet with a ketchup and brown sugar glaze or savory with BBQ sauce, steak sauce, or soy sauce.
- Meats: Feel free to substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for beef, or try the mixed meat approach for a classic Italian meatloaf.
Crafting the Perfect Meatloaf Sandwich
One of the joys of meatloaf is the delicious sandwiches it yields. Follow these steps to create a delectable Meatloaf Sandwich:
- Fully chill the meatloaf, preferably overnight.
- Slice the meatloaf into 1″ thick slices, taking care not to tear them.
- In a nonstick pan, melt ½ tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.
- Sear each side of the meatloaf for 3-5 minutes, using half the butter on each side, to develop a rich crust.
- If adding cheese, place it on the meatloaf while searing the second side.
- Serve on a buttered, toasted bun.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85/15)
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk and breadcrumbs until the milk is absorbed.
- Whisk in the eggs, minced onion, salt, thyme, and pepper.
- Add the ground beef and gently mix with your hands until the ingredients are well combined. Place the mixture into a 9×5 loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Spread this mixture over the meatloaf.
- Bake, uncovered, for 60-65 minutes on a baking sheet (to prevent spills in the oven).
Enjoy Your Homemade Classic Beef Meatloaf!
Now you have the unique recipe to create a tender, flavorful Classic Beef Meatloaf. It’s a timeless comfort food that will have your family and friends savoring every bite.