The American culinary classic, meatloaf, has been around in some form for centuries. From ancient Rome to medieval Europe to the Great Depression. Meatloaf, as we know it today, came to be with the advent of the meat grinder and products like quick cook oats. Food rationing during World War II cemented meatloaf’s place in American homes. It was a frugal and hearty dish that the whole family loved.
Meatloaf today isn’t much different than that of the 40’s and 50’s. Ground meat mixed with a filler of some sort, like breadcrumbs, crackers, oats or panko. Add a binder of milk or eggs, and some seasonings, maybe a diced vegetable or two. Then form it into a loaf free-form on a baking sheet or in a loaf pan. A glaze is often applied; serving the meatloaf with gravy is another option.
Like so many classic dishes meatloaf is very adaptable. Make a classic recipe with a ketchup-based glaze. Or mix it up and give it an Asian spin by adding grated ginger and carrots, some garlic and top it with a teriyaki glaze. Wrap your unglazed meatloaf with bacon before baking it. Make a Thanksgiving inspired meatloaf with ground turkey. Use dry stuffing mix as your filler and toss in some fresh or dried cranberries.
National Meatloaf Appreciation Day is celebrated on October 18th.
Serve meatloaf with…
mashed sweet potato
Something with Veggies
on a roll or bread as a sandwich