Classic Meatloaf

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hr to 1 hr 15
Total time: about 1 hr 30
Servings: 6-8
Cuisine: American
Recipe Info

Everyone needs a go-to meatloaf recipe for weeknight dinners. A traditional meatloaf should be moist, easy to make, have simple ingredients, and be covered in that essential sticky ketchup glaze. This falls right in line with my go-to easy dinner ideas, especially when I need something yummy on the table quick.

1 cup ketchup
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup barbecue sauce

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 eggs lightly beaten
½ cup quick cooking oats (or 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs)
⅓ cup warm water
⅓ cup ketchup
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 185ºC/350ºF. In a small bowl mix together glaze ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl mix all of the meatloaf ingredients until well combined. Place mixed meatloaf on a prepared baking sheet and shape into a 9X5 inch loaf. Spread half of the glaze all over the top and sides of meatloaf. Bake for 30 minutes. Spreading remaining glaze over the top and sides of meatloaf. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes longer, or until thermometer registers 95ºC/160ºF. Let meatloaf rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

How to make Meatloaf
The preparation is also flawless. Throw everything in a bowl, mix it up, and pop it in the oven. There is nothing to sauté and the only chopping involved is a small amount of onion.

Lastly, it uses oatmeal as a binder, which makes this meatloaf naturally gluten-free. Quick oats are also something I always have on hand, as opposed to making or buying breadcrumbs.

Which kind of meat to use for meatloaf: I prefer using lean ground beef, such as ground sirloin. The meatloaf is still very tender and flavorful, but there is hardly any grease to drain away. Ground sirloin also makes this a healthier, lighter weeknight meal. Ground chuck or ground beef may be substituted. When using high-fat content meat, line the baking sheet with foil to catch the grease and make clean up easier.
Baking Free Form Versus In a Loaf Pan: For this recipe, place the meatloaf on a wire rack that sets in a baking sheet. I prefer baking meatloaf free form for several reasons:
– There is more surface area to glaze. Cover the top and sides in a sweet, tangy glaze.
– The meatloaf will cook and brown evenly on all sides.
– The grease and juices can drain away from the meatloaf instead of it baking in an unsightly stew.
– It makes for a prettier presentation. The meatloaf doesn’t have to be dug out of a loaf pan, and can be sliced cleanly on a platter.

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