Mamaw’s Traditional Meatloaf
When I was young, my Mom worked. In my neighborhood, she was the only working Mom at the time. She was a Nurse that had started out her career in the ER. Tough job! But she still found time for all 3 of her girls.
Every now and then, she would make a quick dinner. There were various versions of that, but my favorite was her Meatloaf. I don’t know if there’s anything special or unusual about the way she made it. She did tell me once when I asked to help make it, that she makes it the way her Mom taught her. But instead of using the spices and herbs from scratch, she simplified that seasoning with a packaged version.
When I asked her to teach me how she made it with my Grand Mother, she checked the pantry and thankfully we had all the traditional seasoning to give it a go. So this is her from scratch recipe. I still like it.
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 eggs beaten
- ½ cup Heinz Ketchup
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- 1 tspn basil
- 1 tspn thyme
- 1 tspn dried mustard
- 1 tspn paprika
- 1 tspn celery salt
- 1 tspn onion powder
- ¼ cup finely chopped carrots
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Ketchup for topping
- Pre-heat oven 350º F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, eggs and ketchup. Knead the wet ingredients together with the meat.
- In a small mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix them together thoroughly.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the top of the meat, kneading as you go.
- Once you have combined everything together, knead the beef for about 1 minute. This will ensure the seasoning has permeated all the beef. Be careful not to knead too long, it can dry out your meatloaf and make it dense.
- Form the beef into a round loaf and place it in a 9×5 bread pan.
Don’t form the loaf in the pan. You want your loaf to be light and loose, not dense.
- Using the flat side of a tablespoon, press a ditch length-wise in the middle of the loaf.
- Spread a small line of ketchup down the middle of the ditch.
This is easily done with a squeeze bottle of ketchup.
- Cover the loaf with a piece of aluminium foil and place it in the oven.
Mom would always place the bread pan on a cookie sheet in case there was any grease over flow. There never was, but it’s still a good idea. It makes clean up easier anyway.
- Cook the meatloaf for 40 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and take off the aluminium. Then replace the pan back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the pan and place it on a serving dish.
My Mom would let the loaf stand for about 5 minutes. Then she laid the same piece of aluminium over top of the loaf. Using pot-holders, she hovered the pan over the serving dish and turned the pan sideways until the loaf dropped into aluminum, that she was supporting with another potholder and her hand. She did this quickly so the loaf wouldn’t break apart. It took me a few tries to do this successfully. But once I mastered it, it’s been easy ever since.
- Before serving sprinkle the top of the loaf with your favorite herb. Mom would sprinkle parsley over the top.
- You can use any type of ketchup you like, we just prefer Heinz.
- For the topping, you might like to use your favorite barbecue instead of ketchup
- Replace the onion powder with ¼ cup finely chopped onions.
- Sometimes Mom would add ¼ cup finely chopped celery instead of the celery salt. I prefer the celery salt, but that’s a texture thing.
- You might also consider adding ¼ cup of chopped broccoli if that’s your thing.
- Serve Hot with mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies.