Thursday, October 20, 2016

Southern Style Meatloaf

Southern style meatloaf, made with ground chuck, onion and sweet bell pepper and finished with a brown sugar ketchup glaze.

Southern Style Meatloaf

Y'all know how I feel about labeling recipes or methods of cooking as "real" or "true" southern. I say it all the time, and I will continue to repeat it as long as I'm sharing recipes here on my blog, that one true reality I have learned in my now about ten years of blogging about southern food, is that there is no one "true" way to cook in the south. We sometimes do things a little bit different from one another.

Truth is, it rests solely on two things - the region of the south where you grew up, and what your own mama did - which was likely drawn from what her mama did. I am a southerner, born and raised, but my way of cooking some things may be potentially far different from your way, though it doesn't make either one better or more "right" than the other.

That said, if there were a meatloaf that might be considered a southern-style meatloaf by most folks, I think it would be something like this one. Moist, from the use of a higher fat and more flavorful ground beef, made with plenty of onion, sweet bell pepper, white bread as the filler, a little ketchup for flavor, maybe a dash of Worcestershire, a nice mix of seasonings, and finished with a sweet ketchup and brown sugar glaze on top. Now that, is a good meatloaf y'all and I love a good meatloaf.

I also love natural fats, but I do not like my meatloaf swimming in it while it's baking, so the meatloaf I've been using for years is made with a leaner ground beef and mushrooms to add moisture. For this southern-style version here, I'm using ground chuck, and because of that, I recommend that you use a specialty meatloaf pan, a punctured foil pan, placed over a rack on a foiled lined, rimmed baking sheet, or a broiler pan, like what I'm using here.

This allows the excess fat to drain away, instead of the meatloaf stewing in it. You can certainly cook it in a loaf pan or a square baking pan, but I'd recommend pouring off the fat several times while it is cooking. Remember also, not to over-handle the meat as that can make it very compact and dense after cooking, so form it with a gentle hand. Here's how to make it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, increase heat to medium high and cook vegetables, stirring regularly, until lightly caramelized, about 10-12 minutes. Add garlic, cook another minute; set aside to cool.


Place ground beef in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, basil and mustard over meat.


Add ketchup and Worcestershire. Dip bread into the milk.


Squeeze and smash up bread; add to meat. Add eggs to milk and beat together.


Add the sauteed vegetables to the meat. Use a wooden spoon to turn and gently mix the meat, adding milk mixture to moisten the meatloaf.


Transfer meat to pan or tray and gently press together to shape into loaf. Do not over compact.


Combine glaze ingredients and spoon over the top of the loaf. Bake for about an hour, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, carefully pouring off fat occasionally if using a regular baking pan. Total cooking time will vary depending on your own oven and how thick you shape the loaf.


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Recipe: Southern Style Meatloaf

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, cooking oil or butter
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 slices white bread
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Creole or yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 packed tablespoons light brown sugar
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, increase heat to medium high and cook vegetables, stirring regularly, until lightly caramelized, about 10-12 minutes. Add garlic, cook another minute; set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, place ground beef in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt, pepper, Creole/Cajun seasoning, paprika, thyme, basil and dry mustard over meat. Add ketchup and Worcestershire. Dip bread into the milk, squeeze and smash up; add to meat. Add eggs to milk and beat together. Add the cooled, sauteed vegetables to the meat. Use a wooden spoon to turn and gently mix the meat, adding milk mixture to moisten the meatloaf.

Transfer meat to pan or tray and gently press together to shape into loaf. Do not over compact. Combine glaze ingredients and spoon over the top of the loaf. Bake for about an hour, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, carefully pouring off fat occasionally if using a regular baking pan. Total cooking time will vary depending on your own oven and how thick you shape the loaf.

Cooks Notes: If desired, top meatloaf with 4 to 5 slices of raw bacon. Bake as noted, brushing glaze across the top of meatloaf the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on October 20, 2016

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18 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip on not over handling the meat. I have wondered for years why my ground beef patties always came out too hard and dry. Never knew this tip.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment is unrelated to meatloaf, but I wanted to thank you for talking about the Fasta Pasta microwaveable pasta cooker. I bought one after reading your comments, and I love it. Now I can have pasta meals without heating up the kitchen or filling dishwasher. Thanks for recommending superior products.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Pat & thanks so much for letting me know. The products that I share here are truly products that I love & that make my life a little easier. That is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I use it a lot!!

      Delete
  3. I always place chopped celery in my meatloaf along with the onions and peppers.

    Eat your vegetables, Mom always said. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like my kind of meatloaf.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love your post Mary! So true that can be as many versions of a recipe as there are people. I love to see how others might do the same dish. We all have recipes in common and then there are those unique to your area of the country. I didn't grow up in an area where they eat crawfish all the time or gumbo. I love both of those but I can tell you I couldn't begin to come up with a gumbo recipe. I didn't grow up seeing it all the time. Your meatloaf looks wonderful as do all your recipes. You have certainly been an inspiration to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww Julia! Thank you so much for the sweet note. I really needed it today!

      Delete
  6. I love your meatloaves. Can't wait to try this one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Mary,
    Made your meatloaf last night. SOOOO good and moist.
    As always, I love your recipes! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the meatloaf Vicki!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to come back by and let me know. That really means a lot to me!

      Delete
  8. My meatloaf always cracks in the middle. What am I doing wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, cracked meatloaf is usually still pretty delicious even if it's not pretty! :) If it's cracking, it's just separating and that usually means it's a little too wet. Reduce whatever liquid you are adding and slightly increase whatever binder you are using. If you're using dry bread crumbs from a canister, rather than fresh bread, those are far more tender so you'll need more. Take care not to add too much though or your meatloaf will be more dense and less tender.

      If you haven't ever tried soaking sliced bread in milk or water and then squeezing it out and tearing it to bind your meatloaf, try it sometime!

      Delete
  9. Your recipe sounds like the one my husbands grandmother used to make, one that I have made too. I always love reading your stories. You're a very good author. Your stories always keep me coming back:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Esther! Thank you SO much for such a sweet note. You made my day!!

      Delete

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