Recipes: Then and Now

Recipes from the past updated for today

Post #13 Meatloaf

September 1, 2014

Is there a recipe out there I can leave completely as I find it? Totally unchanged? I doubt it. I look at a recipe and all I see is the many ways it could be ‘improved’. In my house there is a good chance you will never have quite the same thing twice. I am always tweaking my recipes to see if I can make it just a little bit better.

Anyway, my next recipe is one that takes to changes very well. Meatloaf is also as down home a meal as anything else I could write about. In my research I have found so many variations it seems the only common ingredient is the meat. And that can be of many varieties, too. I will list the many kinds of ingredients I have seen in the many recipes along the way. You can use the lists below to create your own recipe for meatloaf. All meatloaves contain certain kinds of ingredients. Of course meat, some kind of bread or starch, what I call a base flavoring, various seasonings and what I call add-ins. So, pick one from each category and see what magic happens in your kitchen.

Meat---Ground beef, pork, veal, lamb, chicken or turkey, chopped ham, bulk sausage

Bread---bread crumbs, oatmeal, seasoned stuffing mix, instant rice, saltines, cheese crackers, cottage cheese

Base flavoring---ketchup, tomato sauce, onion soup mix, barbecue sauce, canned soup, taco sauce, salsa, chili sauce, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, wine

Seasonings---horseradish, mustard, herbs and spices, Worcestershire sauce, bacon, soy sauce, garlic, steak sauce, Tabasco, chili powder and any other seasoning blend that strikes your fancy.

Veggies and other add-ins---onions, celery, carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, chopped or grated cheese, French fried onions

This first recipe is as basic as it gets. It may remind you of the meals served at the old fashioned diners of days gone by. Excellent. Again vary the ingredients to suit your taste.

Basic Meatloaf

1 ½ pound ground chuck

2 eggs

¼ cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups bread crumbs, about 2 slices

½ small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons green pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons celery, chopped


>Mix egg, milk, salt and bread crumbs. Let stand to soften. Thoroughly combine with meat and chopped vegetables. Place mixture into loaf pan and top with ketchup. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

This next recipe is the famous Ann Landers recipe. It is a classic. She mentioned it many times in her column over the years. I still have my old yellowed newspaper clipping. I am sure she would not mind if I pass it along. It is really a good meatloaf if you make it just as the recipe states. A great choice for a family dinner. But save some to make a sandwich for lunch the next day. The only change I will make to this recipe is to omit the Accent seasoning. It is MSG and many people object to MSG these days so I just leave it out. Because this recipe makes a large amount you might want to split it between 2 loaf pans. It will cook faster and have less chance of bubbling over in the oven.

Ann Landers’ Meatloaf Recipe

2 pounds ground round

2 eggs

1 ½ cups bread crumbs

¾ cup ketchup

1 teaspoon Accent

½ cup water

1 package Lipton’s onion soup mix

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

Mix together all ingredients except tomato sauce. Put into loaf pan, cover with two strips bacon, if you like that flavor. Pour tomato sauce over loaf. Bake one hour at 350 degrees. Makes 6 servings