In response to the Obsidian Wings Meatloaf Recipe Slam I have decided to offer you the ultimate guide to meatloaf. When you have mastered this approach to making meatloaf you will be able to make a nearly infinite variety of meatloafs. Here are the basic ingredients:
1 lb. meat
1 medium onion, minced
2 Tbsp.—1/4 cup fat
1/4 cup filler
1/4 cup sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Select one from the following meats: beef, pork, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey, or ham. Or use a combination. It is possible to make a fantastic meatloaf with cod, scallops, or salmon.
Thomas Vincent makes the excellent suggestion of adding Italian sausage or other similar sausage to the list of possible meats in the combination. I suggest that if you use a regular fatted sausage that you reduce the amount of other fat added to the recipe or the product may end up a little greasy.
Meatloaf doesn’t taste like anything without fat. Without fat meatloaf is dry, bland, and uninteresting, useful only as a doorstop. Meatloaf can be made without added fat but you’ll have to double the binder and the sauce and it still won’t be nearly as good. You have been warned.
Select one from the following or use a combination: butter, raw bacon, pork fat, chicken fat. I usually grind my own meat with no fat and add the fat of my choice to my meatloaf.
Select one of the following: bread crumbs, cooked or uncooked rice, rolled oats (I usually process the oats in a food processor to a quarter the size of normal rolled oats), or bulghur wheat (fine grind). The texture of the finished loaf depends considerably on the filler. For a smooth loaf use bread crumbs and very finely ground meat. Oatmeal yields a coarser loaf.
The normal binder is one egg. The equivalent amount of Egg Beaters could also be used.
Everyone knows about using catsup in meatloaf. Chili sauce is also good—even better depending on the chili sauce. Other possibilities include: barbeque sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, Worchestershire Sauce.
I usually use ground thyme (at least 1/8 tsp.) or marjoram in my meatloaf. Other possibilities include: paprika, chili powder, curry powder, fresh ginger, and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Use beef as your meat, butter as your fat, bread crumbs or rolled oats as your filler, catsup as your sauce, ground marjoram as your seasoning. Mix everything preferably by hand. Pack into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees until done, it’s beginning to brown, and the juices run clear—about 40 minutes.
Same as Basic Meatloaf substituting bacon that has been processed into a paste for butter. This is really incredible.
Middle Eastern Meatloaf
Use a mixture of beef and lamb as your meat, butter as your fat, bulghur wheat as your filler, catsup as your sauce, allspice as your seasoning. Proceed as with the Basic Meatloaf. A few pine nuts are good with this, too. This is practically kibbee.
Chicken Teriyaki Meatloaf
Use ground chicken as your meat, butter as your fat, rice as your filler, teriyaki sauce as your sauce, fresh ginger as your seasoning. A mixture of scallions and onions is good. Proceed as with the Basic Meatloaf.
Using this same method you can make barbequed pork meatloaf, South of the Border Meatloaf, Pate a Campagne, and thousands of other varieties. Now experiment!