Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Gather ‘round foodies, and bring some friends for this one! How’d you like to hear how to make the world’s greatest Meatloaf?

Usually I don’t make portions this big, but I had a lot of ground beef. And a huge meatloaf is just as easy to make as a small meatloaf. So since this is one you can share, I am going to list the ingredients:

• 2lbs Ground Beef (I used 80/20 chuck this time)
• 1 bag frozen pepper & onion blend (about 12oz)
• 3-4 Strips Bacon
• 2 eggs
• ¼ cup Corn Chips
• ¼ cup Bran flakes
• ¼ cup Cheerios
• Beef broth
• Tomato Sauce
• BBQ Sauce

The best thing about meatloaf is that it is really easy to make. Just make sure the beef is nice and defrosted before you begin.

And make sure you aren’t wearing the nicest of clothes… this one will get messy!!!

First place the beef in a large enough bowl where it will be easy to knead. Add in the bag of diced peppers and onions and make sure they are in small pieces. If not, dice them to about half an inch. My local grocery stores sell these in the freezer aisle… its much easier to keep around than fresh veggies and they keep for much longer. If you can’t find this, just dice one medium onion and a bell pepper.

Before you get your hands all sticky, take the corn chips, bran flakes, and cheerios (or any other oaty cereal) and mash them up. I used a food processor which worked great. You should have about ¼ cup of each after grinding. The pieces should be nicely ground, but not quite to a powder. You’ll see where these come in later…

Pour in enough tomato sauce to cover the beef. Then, knead the mix until the sauce is mixed in well and the peppers & onions are nicely distributed. You basically have a giant meatball here!

Now, add two eggs and knead those in…

So one of the main ingredients in Meatloaf is breadcrumbs... Originally, this dish was invented as a way to stretch out a small ration of ground beef to the entire family. Unfortunately after I started preparing, I realized I didn’t have any breadcrumbs. So I looked around to see what I could add in that place. Knowing that cereals are commonly used as breading, as are breadcrumbs, the idea popped in my head. I wanted to mix the breadiness of cheerios with the stout flavor of bran flakes. Actually, I used Raisin Bran which added a sweet flavor with the added sugar and raisins.

But this wasn’t enough… I wanted something with some salt. There was a bag of tortilla chips right on my shelf. Bingo. Salty. The mix of these three was a perfect combo for my recipe. But play with the ingredients you have on your shelf… plenty of interesting combos to be found!

Add these “breadcrumbs” to the beef and knead until evenly distributed. Now, add enough barbecue sauce to cover the meat. Knead this and repeat. You should end up using at least half a bottle by the end of the recipe. This time around, I actually used a mix of two bbq sauces… one intended for pork and one for beef. See which one works best for you!

Now you are almost ready to cook. Prepare a pan large enough to contain all the beef by putting a thin layer of bbq sauce on the bottom and the sides. I personally use one of those disposeable metal baking pans for easy cleanup. Evenly distribute the meat into the pan. Then cover the surface with bacon.

Mmm bacon. The recipe gets more decadent every step! If you are a real bacon fan (and who isn’t), try covering the sides and bottom with it too!

Take some more bbq sauce and cover the top of the meatloaf with a thick coat. Then take some beef broth (A dissolved bouillon cube works fine) and pour it on top, just enough so the water level reaches the top of the loaf… you really shouldn’t need more than ¼ cup but it depends on the size and shape of the tray. This step will prevent the sides from burning and give you nice juicy end pieces!

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Halfway through, carefully remove it and pour off the excess grease into the sink. Then return it, making sure no oil drips in the oven. When you are done, make sure it is cooked all the way through and brown in the middle. Allow to sit a few minutes and you’re good to go!

Excuse me if I drool a little bit...
I served this with a side of Potatoes and Veggies Au Gratin. Complicated? Not at all! I cooked up a store brand Au Gratin Potato mix, and added in a can of mixed vegetables. Easy enough!

"Plated" aka "Why I need a SLR camera"

The meatloaf came out tender and decadent. Easily the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. It was a fusion of so many flavors… especially sweet and savory. Words just aren’t enough to describe how amazing it was. But to quote the great Aldo Raine, “this one may very well be my masterpiece”

I'm in the Meatloaf cooking business, and business is-a boomin!

Now I always like to give my input on what I could do better for next time. As amazing as this was, I think next time I am going to work on a way to make it less greasy. The fact that I was cooking 80/20 beef with bacon provides an oily texture which could be improved on. Next time I’m going for a leaner beef, like 93%. But I think a better suggestion would be to pop a hole or two in the bottom of the tray (why I suggest the disposable metal pan) before putting it into the oven, and placing another pan below it to catch the drippings. This should degrease the meatloaf enough without drying it out and prevent the tedium of having to drain it halfway through.

So give it a try and let me know what you think. I guarantee you’ll love this one!

And if you do, please join us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. The link to “Like” Edible Rex on Facebook is in the right column, and follow us at @EdibleRex on Twitter! Oh, and if you really like us, click on an ad or two… help keep me cooking!!!

Bon Appetit!


Post a Comment