A great Classic Meatloaf recipe is like finding that perfect little black dress. It’s a go-to recipe with lots of versatility. This is that recipe! It is moist and flavorful. Serve it for Sunday Supper or weeknights. It is great for kids, hungry guys, and cozy nights at home. It is also great for parties, especially when served with my Loaded Cheesy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes. Classic Meatloaf freezes well and reheats easily in the microwave. This recipe makes two meatloafs using standard size loaf pans (8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″).
Using a couple of simple methods and classic ingredients gets great results. One key method is to pulse onions, celery and carrots in a food processor to create a wet blob of minced vegetables. The moisture in the vegetables keeps the meatloaf soft while adding lots of flavor. You can also hand grate the vegetables for the same effect. This method really improved my Italian Meatball recipe. Also using a 2:1 ratio of ground beef and pork adds enough fat, and therefore flavor, for the best combination of meat. Adding ground veal is unnecessary.
Another tip is to use sweet vegetables to counter balance the acidic meat. The sweet onions, carrots, diced red bell pepper and tomato paste add a depth of sweetness and flavor. Salt and pepper is the only other seasoning used in this recipe. The last important factor for a great Classic Meatloaf is the tangy ketchup sauce on top. The mixture of ketchup, dry mustard and brown sugar is a must to achieve that old-fashioned goodness.
Cara's Classic Meatloaf
- 2 pounds ground beef 85%
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large sweet onion quartered
- 2 stalks celery quartered
- 2 carrots large chunks
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 Red bell pepper finely diced
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Mix ketchup, brown sugar and dry mustard in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
- Place onion, celery, carrot, garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced.
- In a large bowl add ground beef and pork, minced vegetables, red pepper, eggs, tomato paste, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands until evenly incorporated.
- Transfer half of the meat mixture to a standard size (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") loaf pan. Pack down to avoid air pockets. Repeat with the remaining meat in a second loaf pan.
- Spoon the ketchup sauce evenly across each loaf.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Do not let the sauce on the top burn.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing.