All-American Meatloaf

Extending the reach of chopped meat with different fillers has been around since the Ancient Greeks. With the German invention of the meat grinder in the late 1800s, meatloaf and hamburger consumption shot through the roof as the tedium of finely chopping meat by hand became automated. During the Great Depression in 1930s America, cooking meatloaf was a way for families to stretch food budgets by using an inexpensive cut of meat and leftover ingredients. Along the way, it became popular to add cereal grains, bread, or crackers to add bulk and to stretch the meat.

American-style meatloaf is typically eaten with gravy or coated prior to cooking with some combination of barbeque sauce, tomato ketchup, or mustard along with brown sugar. Served with mashed potatoes and peas or corn, meatloaf is the very definition of American home cooking.

American meatloaf

All-American Meatloaf

This is an all-time American classic. Grinding the beef and pork in a food processor will create a more flavorful meatloaf but pre-ground meats are much easier and almost as good. This recipe has been updated in order to ensure maximum moistness and external crustiness are achieved. Served with mashed potatoes and peas. Leftover meatloaf with tomato ketchup on buttered bread makes a great sandwich.
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, American Midwest, North American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • 9×5-inch loaf pan
  • Food processor
  • Baking pan lined with foil


  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 large Onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4 slices Country white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 3 large Eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup Flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 2 lb Ground chuck beef
  • 1 lb Ground pork
  • ¾ cup Tomato ketchup
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar (or honey, maple syrup)
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp Freshly ground pepper


  • Prepare Vegetables– Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Remove from heat to cool.
  • Prepare Meat – In a large bowl, combine milk with torn pieces of white bread and soy. Mash to a paste. Add eggs, thyme, cooked onion, salt and pepper. Blend everything together. Crumble in meats and gently mix together being careful not to overwork the meat.
  • Cook Meatloaf – Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Fill with meat mixture, being sure no air bubbles are trapped underneath. Place the loaf pan upside-down on the foil lined baking pan. Fold the foil loosely around the loaf pan to trap any liquids during baking. Bake upside-down loaf pan in oven for 30 minutes.
    Fold foil down and separate the loaf pan from the meat by lifting around the edges with a spatula. Using an oven mitt or towel, remove the loaf pan. Place baking sheet with naked meatloaf back in the oven and cook about 30 minutes longer. When done, remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Increase heat in oven to 500°F (260°C).
  • Glaze Meatloaf – Make glaze in a small saucepan by combining ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and 1 tbsp pepper. Cook about 2 minutes to melt sugar and meld everything together. Remove from heat.
    Apply a thin layer of glaze all over the meatloaf. Return to oven and bake for 3 minutes. Add another layer of glaze and bake another 3 minutes. Apply one more thick layer of glaze and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Slice into thick ¾-inch slices and serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. Gravy would be nice but not necessary.


Calories: 824kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 260mg | Sodium: 3095mg | Potassium: 970mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 453IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 6mg

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