When was the last time you had a piece of homemade meatloaf?
If it’s been a while then you need to try this recipe with its wonderful blend of flavors.
A staple in many homes, meatloaf is a splendid way to make your food go further without compromising on quality.
A classic meatloaf with this easy meatloaf recipe made in 45 minutes.
Though modern meatloaf is an American creation, the dish’s origins may be traced all the way back to Ancient Rome.
In his cookbook, De Re Coquinaria, Roman gastronome Apicius features chopped meat combined with spices, bread soaked in wine and pine nuts and formed into a patty.
Meatloaf is actually a traditional German, Scandinavian and Belgian dish. In Medieval Europe, meat was finely diced, mixed with seasonings, fruits, and nuts, and formed into pie-shaped disks called pastez.
In France, around the 17th century, loaves of chopped meat and offal were preserved in a thick layer of gelatin.
What is Homemade Meatloaf?
American meatloaf originated from scrapple, a blend of ground pork and cornmeal.
First served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania going way back to colonial times.
To avoid waste, scraps of meat after slaughtering that were not consumed, or sold elsewhere were turned into scrapple.
This mush was made into a semi-solid congealed bread, and the scrapple slices were pan-fried before being served.
Meatloaf as we know it now did not appear in American cookbooks until the late 1800s.
This was immediately after the invention of the mechanical meat grinder by German inventor Karl Drais.
The grinder provided a new level of fineness and textural consistency.
Cooks used to have to chop meat with a curved blade in huge wooden bowls.
With the grinder one could buy pre-ground meat directly from the butcher, and process it through grinders.
Thanks to the industrial revolution, refrigeration development, and the growing meat packing industry, meatloaf was available in every household.
How to Make Meatloaf
Preheat the oven to 350 F; mix the beef with the onions and bread crumbs in a medium bowl.
Add the salt, pepper, chopped parsley, paprika, cumin, garlic and ketchup.
Next, add the milk, and eggs, then mix well with your hands, for best results, until all ingredients are combined well.
Shape the meat mixture into a loaf pan, then set aside.
In a small bowl mix ketchup, hot sauce, garlic powder, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar.
Mix these ingredients well to create the topping for the homemade meatloaf sauce.
Place in the oven for a cooking time of 55 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees is achieved.
If the top of the meatloaf begins to brown too much before it’s done, then cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking.
This recipe can be made with ground turkey as an alternative meat, which I add a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce to.
Once cool, just wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge for three to five days.
Meatloaf in America
Cooking meatloaf was a way for families during the Great Depression to extend their food budget by using inexpensive meat, and leftovers.
To add bulk and extend the meat, cereal grains, bread, or saltine crackers were commonly added to the meatloaf, along with spices.
In addition, meatloaf was a symbol of wartime innovation in the 1940s.
This was the age of Prudence Penny’s Vitality Loaf, which was made with beef, pork, and liver.
Meatloaf had become a staple in America by the 1950s.
Betty Crocker created recipes that were modified by home cooks.
Meatloaf became a standard menu item in American restaurants.
However, it never did make inroads into luxury level restaurants.
Chefs added their own twists on meatloaf, and served it as a sign of gratitude for a dish that has so admirably supported Americans through difficult times.
American style meatloaf is usually served warm as part of a main course, but it can also be served cold, and then used in sandwiches.
It’s considered a traditional comfort food.
Meatloaf ranked seventh among Americans’ favorite dishes in a 2007 study conducted by Good Housekeeping.
Similar Dishes From Around the World
There are several variations similar to meatloaf from around the world.
Faschierter Braten is the Austrian contribution to meatloaf.
It is usually not filled, as it is in Germany, but instead wrapped in ham before baking.
It’s frequently eaten warm with mashed potatoes, or cold with Cumberland sauce.
In Belgium, it’s called vleesbrood (meatbread).
It is usually served warm and can then be served with various sauces, but can also be eaten cold with a loaf of bread.
In Denmark, meatloaf is made from a mix of ground pork and beef with strips of bacon or cubed bacon on top.
It is served with boiled or mashed potatoes and brown gravy, and red currant jam to add sweetness.
In the UK there are regional pork meatloaf dishes known as haslet, made from stale white bread, minced pork, sage, salt and black pepper
“If you do not eat well, then you won’t be able to think well, love well, and sleep well.”
It’s usually eaten cold with pickles and lettuce, or as a stuffing for sandwiches.
In Indonesia, meatloaf is made using sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) as seasoning, then baked or smoked, and usually served with a chili sauce.
In Turkey, there is a version of meatloaf called dalyan köfte or rulo köfte.
It is filled with carrots, peas, and whole boiled eggs.
In Lebanon, kibbeh, which is ground beef or lamb with bulgar, can be made into a loaf and baked.
In Bulgaria, it’s known as rulo Stefani, it’s similar to the Hungarian Stefánia meatloaf.
Hard-boiled eggs are added, and sometimes chopped carrots and pickled gherkins in the middle.
Chilean meatloaf, also known as Asado Aleman (German roasted meat), is a staple of southern Chilean cuisine.
Particularly in areas populated by German settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Ground beef, carrots, sausages, boiled eggs, and breadcrumbs are the most popular ingredients in Chilean meatloaf.
It is baked and served with mashed potatoes or rice as a side dish.
In the Czech Republic, meatloaf is known as sekaná (chopped).
The addition of hard boiled eggs, gherkins, or hotdogs is optional.
Lots of similarities and lots of differences, all with delicious in common!
For the Meatloaf
- 1 lb Beef ground
- 1 Onion small, finely chopped
- 1 Egg
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 2 tbsp Parsley finely chopped
- ½ cup Bread Crumbs
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Cumin
- ½ tsp Paprika
For the Topping
- ¼ cup Ketchup
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Hot Sauce
- Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together in in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Be sure not to over mix.
- Shape the meat mixture into a greased loaf pan.
- Mix topping ingredients together.
- Add the topping to the meat mixture, covering the whole surface.
- Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake for 55 minutes at 350ºF (175ºC).
- Internal temperature will reach 160ºF (71ºC) when done.