Sometimes I just have to have meatloaf.
It usually starts when I notice one of those packages of the mixed meats in the butcher case at the market. The combination of ground beef, veal, pork nestled side by side, beckons to me.
I brought it home, looked at a couple of recipes, then did what I always do. Chopped onion, bread crumbs (sometimes even cubes) soaked in milk, and egg, some salt and pepper. I added a little sage this time (think that was in the Mark Bittman recipe), but very little. I keep it simple, no peppers or other vegetables, although you are welcome to.
I try not to handle it too much, because I like it a little loose, although it still always seems compact when it’s cooked. (I read that it is the breadcrumbs that do that, but am not convinced, as one of the best, softest, loosest meatloaves I ever had had stuffing cubes in it.) Then I pat the loaf into shape, top it with ketchup or a little tomato sauce, and bake it.
For once, I remembered to use the thermometor, although I never used to, and took it out at about what you see here, 152.3. It could have been done a tad more, but I worry more about overcooking than undercooking, because I hate dry meat. (Of course, I am aware of all the cautions about ground meat and food-borne illnesses, so I try to buy meat that is ground in-store.)
Here is the result. Not only was it delicious, it made GREAT sandwiches during the week, which is one of the best things about meatloaf. I even bought thousand island dressing for that, because, well, that’s how I like it!