Meat loaf can be one of the best, or one of the worst, examples of comfort cooking. This recipe emphasizes the things I love about meatloaf...the sweetness of tomatos, the crispy outside...and depends on high-quality ground meats for its wonderful texture. I like to use venison in mine; if you dont have access to venison, use beef. —Kayb
Test Kitchen Notes
This meatloaf is familiar and comfortable, but with a twist. Kayb suggests using a pie plate to create more “crust.” What a great idea!! The combination of ingredients yields a moist, traditional meatloaf in which moderate amounts of the primary flavoring ingredients -- tomato (in the glaze as well as in the meat mixture) and basil (the only herb) -- allow the flavor of the meats to shine through. Using heavy cream instead of cheese gives the loaf a light texture. Coca-Cola adds an unrecognizable, somewhat tangy spice note in the sauce which is, as one would expect, rather sweet. Kayb's well-written and unpretentious recipe yields a tasty, satisfying meatloaf. Two thumbs up! - AntoniaJames —The Editors
freshly ground black pepper
can tomato paste, divided
medium onion, diced, sauteed until soft
cloves garlic, minced, sauteed with oniom until fragrant
Preheat oven to 400. Mix all but last four ingredients and half of the tomato paste. Use your hands; only way to effectively do it. pat mixture into a deep-dish pie pan abd bake for 15 minutes.
Mix reserved tomato paste, ketchup, vinegar and sugar, After 15 minutes, baste top of meat loaf with sauce and lower heat to 325. Bake, basting every 15 minutes, for another hour. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine remaining sauce and Coca-Cola. Heat over medium high, stirring often and watching closely, until reduced to thick sauce consistency. Serve with meatloaf wedges.
Using the pie plate means a higher proportion of the crispy exterior, which I love. If you prefer, by all means use a loaf pan or baking sheet.
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!