Making meatloaf without a recipe is good fun and self-affirming to boot. For an improvisatory recipe, this one reads especially bossy, even for me. I’ll give you the executive summary: you want the loaf to be moist with fats, so that the finished dish is not dry, but packed with flavor. This makes for a fantastic dinner alongside mashed potatoes and sweet peas.
- Ground meat
- Bread crumbs
- Neutral oil
- Hot sauce
- Gather ground beef and ground pork, about a half pound of each, along with a couple of shallots (or small onions!), an egg from a pampered chicken, some bread crumbs from the back of the cupboard, a splash of milk to moisten them, and plenty of salt and pepper. I get kind of fancy about it. I dice the shallots fine so that they almost dissolve into the meat. Add some diced bacon for fat and flavor, or a little high-fat butter or nothing at all. Combine all that. Shape into a loaf and put it on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Do I deploy my squeeze bottle of ketchup cut with Texas Pete hot sauce to anoint the top of the loaf in the way fancy sushi chefs do their dragon rolls? I do. Bake at 375°F for a little more than 30 minutes. You’ll sleep like a kitten after dinner.