- Course: Main Course
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
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If you are making meatloaf for dinner, set the table and wash the greens for a salad (or prepare anything else you plan to have with the meatloaf) while it is baking. Then you will have everything ready so you can serve the meatloaf while it is hot and sit down and enjoy it. Remember that leftover meatloaf makes a wonderful sandwich the next day. It is just as delicious cold in a sandwich as it is hot on a plate.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup tomato ketchup
- 2 slices bread
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 small yellow onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Loaf Pan (8½ by 4½ by 2½ Inches, Holding 6 cups) or One Medium-sized Baking Dish, Holding 6 Cups
- Paring Knife or 8-inch Serrated Knife
- Thin Metal Spatula
Turn the oven on to 350°F. You will need a loaf pan, or any medium-sized baking dish that will hold about 6 cups.
Put the ground beef into a mixing bowl and break it into pieces, handling it lightly. If you pack it down, press on it, and squeeze it firmly, it will be tough when it is baked. Handling it lightly and gently helps keep the meat moist and tender when it is baked.
Break the egg into a small bowl and stir it with a fork until it is all yellow and well mixed. Add 1/3 cup ketchup to the egg and stir to mix the two together. Pour the ketchup–egg mixture over the meat, but don’t mix it in yet.
Tear the 2 slices of bread into bits about the size of a macaroni noodle, and put them in the bowl you used for the egg.
Sprinkle the ¼ cup milk over the bread pieces, and then lightly toss them with your hands. Let the bread and milk sit a minute while you chop the onion.
First cut off the fuzzy little root end of the onion and then cut off the dry stem end. Peel off the papery outer skin, and then cut the onion in half from top to bottom. Put each half cut side down on a cutting board. Cut each half crosswise into 6 to 8 slices, then cut the slices across into 5 pieces. (You want to have little pieces of onion.) Add the chopped onion to the beef in the mixing bowl, but don’t start mixing yet.
Now add to the meat the bread bits that have soaked up the milk, and sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper lightly over the beef and other ingredients.
Using your hands, gently mix all the ingredients together This means lightly breaking up and mixing the beef, bread, ketchup and egg, onion, and salt and pepper together with your fingertips until you can see that everything is blended with everything else.
Gather up the beef mixture and put it into the loaf pan or baking dish. Pat it lightly so it is even on top. Put it in the oven and set the kitchen timer for 40 minutes.
Have your plates ready. When the timber bell rings, use pot holders to carefully remove the meatloaf from the oven and put it down on a heatproof surface. You can cut slices of meatloaf right out of the pan. Make them about 1 inch thick. Use a knife or a thin metal spatula to lift the slices out of the pan. Put the slices on the serving plates and eat while the meatloaf is still hot.
When You Use The Oven:
Use soft, square potholders—the mitt-style potholder is not as protective. The mitts are usually too large and too stiff for children. When you open the oven door to check on something you are baking, don’t pull the oven rack out, because this can cause the baking dish or pan to tilt forward and slide toward you. Don’t leave the oven door open any longer than it takes you to comfortably check on the doneness of what you are baking. You don’t need to be in a frantic rush when you open the oven, but remember that if you leave it open longer than you need to your oven will lose heat.
© 1995 Marion Cunningham