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While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.
I think smoked paprika -- in moderation -- would be fine in meatloaf if it's a flavor you like.
Personally, I like to use some Worcestershire sauce (as well the old standbys like ketchup, saltines, salt, pepper, dried oregano, etc.)
Sam is a trusted home cook.
One hint from Cooks Illustrated I've been using for meatloaf is to add 1/2 tsp of unflavored gelatin bloomed in 1/2 cup of stock.
That is if your using an all beef meat loaf and not the pork, veal, beef mix.
The gelatin helps replace fat and holds in the moisture in a all beef mix.
The other hint was add a small can of V8 to the sauteed onions and veggi mix and reduce.
They also used crushed saltines instead of bread crumbs in the mix.
Oh, another thought. For the smoked paprika.
I'd use that in the glaze mix. Mix up some ketchup, brown sugar, white or apple cider vinegar, Smoked paprika and coriander..a dash of Tabasco. ( I add a couple of drops of liquid smoke to mine too). and brush on during the last mins of cooking--turning on the boiler..glazing..let it crust up..and repeat a couple a time.
Use a 'free form loaf' instead of a pan so it won't be cooking in grease. Foil over a wire rack and poke some holes in it with more foil in the drip pan to catch the grease.
Thank you so much!
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