Meatloaf, Plain And Simple

By • November 2, 2011 • 54 Comments

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Author Notes: The other day, after speaking with my mother, I was thinking about the best sandwich she packed for my lunch when I was in school. It was leftover meatloaf on white bread with mayo -- hands down. So, I decided to make meatloaf. My recipe is simple and produces a moist flavorful loaf -- no bells and whistles, just a plain ole meatloaf. In my opinion, it's comfort food at its most basic. I use ground beef and ground pork in mine; you can use all beef, just make sure its 80%, as you want the meat to be fairly fatty. The celery, carrot, parsley, and onion are ground in the food processor, which adds extra moistness. I use fresh bread crumbs and top the loaf off with ketchup. sdebrango

Food52 Review: WHO: Sdebrango’s two kitchen helpers are her pugs, Izzy and Nando.
WHAT: A no-frills meatloaf to make for dinner one day, then eat as a lunch sandwich the next.
HOW: Grind celery, carrots, onion, and parsley in a food processor. Mix with sautéed peppers and mushrooms, fresh bread crumbs, puréed tomato, and ground meat. Shape it into a loaf, cover with ketchup, and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you grew up with a meatloaf-making mother, this one is just like the kind she used to make. It has everything you love with none of the distractions. Tasty and simple with no fancy or weird ingredients, it requires no accompaniments except fresh bread. It’s even better on a sandwich the next day -- the flavor and texture only gets better with a little time.
A&M

Makes one big loaf

  • Olive oil, for coating baking pan and sautéeing
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 small onion (yellow, white, or red -- your choice)
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley with large stems removed
  • 1 small bell or Cubanelle pepper diced
  • 6 mushrooms (I used white stuffer type), cleaned with tough part of stems removed
  • 1 pound 80% ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 small tomato (about 4 ounces), cored and puréed in blender
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  • Ketchup to slather on top of loaf
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F and lightly oil a rectangular baking dish or loaf pan. Cut celery, carrot, and onion into large chunks, and add them to food processor along with the parsley. Process until the vegetables are ground.
  2. Dice the pepper and mushrooms and sauté them in a small amount of olive oil until the pepper softens.
  3. To a large mixing bowl add the meat, ground vegetables, sautéed pepper and mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg, puréed tomato, salt and pepper, Worcestershire, and cream (if using). Mix with spoon -- or better yet, your hands -- until it's all combined. To check the seasoning, fry off a tiny test patty, taste, and adjust accordingly. Plop the meat into the oiled baking pan and shape into a loaf. Cover with ketchup.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven, and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing. If there are any leftovers, make sandwiches. Enjoy!
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Mrs._larkin_370

6 days ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats on the win, sdebrango! Can't wait to try this.

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6 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Liz!!

Mami_2.1.1

6 days ago bonheurcuisine

Comgrats my friend! Saved it!

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6 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Viviana!

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7 days ago Horto

i use raw mushrooms in the mix, adds moisture, saves extra clean up!

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7 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes I have done that too and it works well, it does also save on clean up!

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7 days ago MrsK

Worth winning the contest! I'm salivating already, lol. My congratulations to you and wish you enter many more Food52 contests in the near future. You see, I have a very selfish motive: that means you will share your recipes with the rest of us... ;-)

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7 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are so sweet, thank you so much!

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11 days ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats on being a finalist Suzanne! There are truly few things more wonderful that a really good meatloaf. :)

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11 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Emily, meatloaf is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

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11 days ago Midge

Big congrats Suzanne. This is definitely my next meatloaf.

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11 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Midge.

Farmer's_market

11 days ago amysarah

This reminds me very much of my mom's meatloaf, which of course I appropriated years ago. She always threw the veg's/liquids in a blender (pre-food processor!) before mixing them with the meat, etc., so I still do too. When I see meatloaf mentioned as making a "comeback" I always wonder, when did it go away? Anyway, glad to see this as a finalist. There's a very good reason a next-day meatloaf sandwich is classic.

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11 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, yes this is very similar to my Mom's meatloaf, it was the pre cursor to mine I made a few minor changes but the taste is almost the same. The sandwich next day is the best.

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12 days ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Suzanne! Congratulations on being a finalist!

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12 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much.

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12 days ago anotherfoodieblogger

Congrats on being a finalist! I make my "mom's meatloaf" all the time, and yes, leftovers for sammies the next day are the best! Except we slather ours with mustard, not mayo. I do like the idea of mincing the veggies in a food processor. Great idea!

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12 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, yes my Moms meatloaf was my inspiration. Grinding the vegetables makes for a flavorful moist loaf.

Mami_2.1.1

13 days ago bonheurcuisine

Congrats Suzanne! The loaf sounds delicious!

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12 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Viviana

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13 days ago cristinasciarra

Looks delicious! Congrats on being a finalist. I'm going to try this.

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13 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Cristina!

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14 days ago lastnightsdinner

I make meatloaf for the sole purpose of having meatloaf sandwiches the next day! This sounds wonderful, and I'll be making it soon. Congrats to you - xo

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13 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much! I do too, I remember the sandwiches my Mom made, white bread, a little mayo and a thick slice of meatloaf. It was my favorite lunch.

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14 days ago healthierkitchen

Congrats! This sounds delicious!!

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much.

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14 days ago Bevi

Congrats Suzanne!

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Bevi!

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14 days ago Margherita Romagnoli

It's amazing see you here Suzanne!

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you Margherita!

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14 days ago Kukla

Congratulations Suzanne, so happy to see your recipe as a finalist and it sounds as a fantastic Meatloaf recipe!!!

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are always so kind, than you Kukla!

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15 days ago EmilyC

Big congrats to you, Suzanne! I'm planning to try your meatloaf soon. It looks fantastic!

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much I am honored to share a finalists spot with you and love your recipe.

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15 days ago 10 Legs in the Kitchen

Nothing beats a meatloaf sandwich for lunch! Nice one Suzanne! Tom will love it and I will make a smaller loaf sans the onion and celery for Ginger and Buddy (Buddy won't eat celery and, as you know, no onions for dogs). Sending good vibes out to Izzy.

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Stacey. Nope no onions for our furry friends.

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15 days ago skd

Congrats Suzanne :) You are clearly a winner.

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are too kind, thank you so much.

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15 days ago cookinginvictoria

Congrats, Suzanne, on the finalist nod! This has been on my to-make list for a long time, but I'm going to finally give it a whirl (with the pork, of course) this weekend. Love, love meatloaf and your version looks divine. :)

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14 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much. I love meatloaf too, one of my favorites.