RECIPE: World's Best Meatloaf

canarybird01September 21, 2005

I've been asked by Tammy to post again the meatloaf recipe that I've been using for so many years.

It's a real winner, so here it is:

1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs - (tear up soft sliced bread - don't use fine crumbs as for breading)

1 1/2 lb ground meat (beef or pork & beef) (about 700 grams)

1 beaten egg

1 onion chopped fine

1/4 teasp dry Colman's (or similar) mustard

1/8 teasp ground sage

1/2 teasp ground thyme

1 1/2 teasp salt

1/4 teas pepper

1/8 teasp nutmeg

1 chopped green pepper

1 tin condensed tomato soup (eg Campbells's)

3/4 cup grated celery

3/4 cup grated carrot

1) Mix meat with egg, add onion and seasonings and bread crumbs, greens and carrots

2) Add half the tin of soup and mix everything well. Turn into greased loaf pan or glass casserole dish 8.5 x 11 inches and pour remaining soup over the top, smoothing it evenly over all.

3) Bake 350 F (177 C) for 1 1/4 hours.

4)

Mustard pickles also goes well and this makes wonderful cold sandwiches next day !

Source: American Pro Footbal Player's Wife in 1963

My Notes:

1) I use 'tomate frito' instead of the condensed soup. It's a rich fried Spanish tomato purée but otherwise condensed soup is good. Never use ketchup !

2) I usually double the amount of the ground spices with the exception of salt.

SharonCb

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stacy3

Sharon, thanks - this looks great - I'll be trying it soon. I love that it has lots of veggies, as it's always a challenge to get Will to eat enough of them. You can't serve broccoli EVERY night - LOL. Well, I guess you could, but I'm not gonna.

I have a question. Do I have to use white bread for the crumbs?

Stacy

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 9:45AM
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woodie2

I love this meatloaf and have made it several times, thanks again, Sharon!

Here are my own little notes, just FYI -

I put the meat into a large bowl, then the egg on top and beat it with a fork, then sprinkle all the dried seasonings on top. Then I do 4-5 slices of bread in the food processor and then empty the container on top of the meat. Then I chop the onion and pepper in the processor and dump on top of the meat. Then I put 3 celery stalks and 1 large carrot in the processor and process fine and dump it on top of the meat. Then I add the soup and mix it all up with my hands. I don't use my knife for this meatloaf!

I also double the seasonings as Sharon suggests (no salt for me) and I prefer red pepper over green pepper, once I even used canned roasted red pepper when I didn't have a pepper, it was great!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 10:20AM
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HanArt

Mike loves this too! I made a HUGE loaf with 3 pounds of beef & pork. He had sandwiches for a week and then I tossed the remaining loaf into a tomato sauce for pasta.

I prefer chopping veggies by hand. My bread wasn't dry enough for processing, so I tore it by hand like Sharon suggested. I think I'll try woodie's method next time. I also prefer red/orange/yellow bells over green, so that's what I used.

Wasn't crazy about the tomato soup I chose. It was Campbell's, but not the regular condensed. It had tomato bits, but I thought it was too creamy. I'll use something different next time.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 11:25AM
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msazadi

I fourth the rec. It is one good sized meal for a bunch of men. I'm not sure I used tomato soup since I rarely have it but may have pureed some canned tomatoes. In any case, dh sure liked it and I was glad to have a large meatloaf that he could eat for lunches and I could freeze a hunk for later.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 3:29PM
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BeverlyAL

Here's a fifth! I don't like tomato soup for any reason except with popcorn in it, so I used tomato sauce instead and it was still an excellent meatloaf.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 5:27PM
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tlsullivanct

Thanks for sharing this meatloaf recipe. I am so excited about making it. And a thank you to the others for chiming in with comments.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 7:42PM
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trixietx

Thanks for the recipe, sounds like something my crew would really enjoy.
I will be trying it soon.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 3:00AM
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canarybird01

Thanks everyone. Stacy I've used both white or brown sliced bread for the crumbs and it doesn't seem to make a difference it's just whatever I have on hand at the moment.

I've always chopped everything by hand more or less into a brunoise although I use my grater for the carrot. Guess it's just habit as I do have a food processor but don't use it much lol.

Beverly that tomato sauce would probably be very much like the Spanish fried tomato (smooth) sauce I use. It comes out nice and tangy. For that reason I should have also mentioned that *cream of* tomato soup doesn't do the job - it should be plain condensed tomato soup or a smooth and tangy rich tomato sauce.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 5:02AM
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HanArt

Sharon, that's the cut I use ... didn't know it had a name. Learn something new... ;)

I'm curious about the tomato sauce you use. Googled and found a site where it can be ordered online, along with a lot of other neat stuff. LOL I think I'll shop later today.

Here is a link that might be useful: tomato frito

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 11:38AM
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canarybird01

HanArt...

Tomate frito (toe-MAW-tay FREE-toe) is a staple of many Spanish kitchens as it's a helpful base for starting off many sauces. It's made from tomato which has been peeled, seeded, chopped and fried in olive oil and then puréed. The Ybarra company whose sauce you found on that website is an old well-established business whose products, mainly olive oil based, are found in nearly all supermarkets here. The firm started out as a producer of olive oil and has since branched into mayonnaise, tomate frito, some delicious pistos and sofritos as well as other sauces. I use them frequently when I need to make a fast meal. I also use their olive oil and mayonnaise.

of my cupboard just to illustrate that tomato frito is an almost indispensible item in my pantry. I have many more of those tiny tins and usually use two of them for one meatloaf. While we were in Canada on holiday I was at a bit of a loss as I didn't know what to use to replace it. A normal tin of tomato puré doesn't have quite the right taste as it's missing that edge which comes from being cooked in olive oil.

I discovered the name for that brunoise cut when I saw it demonstrated on a Spanish cooking show last year. I also didn't know it had a name lol ! Been doing it for years too.

I sure hope you and Mike and okay and your kitties haven't been too frightened by the noise of the wind !

SharonCb

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 1:11PM
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HanArt

Sharon, I had things in my cart (they're probably gone now), but I'm going to order some tomato frito and a few of those clay dishes.

We're all fine. Hanna & Artie were shuffled in and out of their travel carriers for about a 24-hr. period prior to, and during Rita's passing. Neither one of 'em really fights it, but Hanna usually has a few choice words for her mother. All is forgiven when she can snuggle up to me in bed at night.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 7:59PM
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ArizonaTart

Sharon, I have cut and pasted this in confidence that it will be a great recipe for my tried and true list!

I just made it, although it seemed a bit soupy to me, so, I am not sure if I have your "hand" at it yet, and stuck it in the oven to be ready by 4:30pm. We are eating early tonight due to schedules.

Thanks a bunch! It smelled wonderful before it went into the oven, I can't wait to see the final product!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 4:44PM
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ArizonaTart

Sharon, this is the best meatloaf recipe I've ever had!

I was skeptical about putting nutmeg in meatloaf, and I wasn't sure I would like the sage or thyme, but man, oh man! It was awesome!

The baby ate it like candy, my MIL ate it, my husband said it was fantastic, and I thought it was perfect!

Outstanding recipe!!!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 10:14PM
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canarybird01

Thanks Arizona !

I wish I could say I'd invented it myself LOL...but it was passed on to me during the 1960s and I've been passing it on ever since !

SharonCb

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 9:13AM
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RuddMD

Count me in as one who loves this recipe too!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 5:11PM
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HanArt

We love it too! Next time I make it it'll be a little more authentic since I now have a couple bottles of tomato frito.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 6:56PM
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cuffs054

This looks like just the thing for my next "company" meal. Can (should) I double all the ingred. or just the meat? Thought I heard somewhere that more than one egg in a meatloaf changes the texture (Alton Brown, maybe?).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:24AM
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canarybird01

Cuffs if you want to double the quantity then you should double all the ingredients.

I also think it would then be better to cook it in two dishes as well rather than making it all in one large dish. It should sit about 2 1/2 inches high in the baking dish.

I good condiment is piccalilli or some other mustard pickles offered on the side along with potatoes.

Good luck with it ! It's very tasty.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 5:13AM
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teresa_nc7

Sharon,
Have you ever made this up as meatballs? I'm on a meatball kick and was thinking about this the other day.

I prefer tomato sauce substituted for the tomato soup. But that's the only change that I've made when I make this delicious recipe.

Teresa

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 7:30AM
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canarybird01

Teresa no I haven't made meatballs with it as I imagine the grated/chopped veggies in the mixture might fall out and be a bit messy to handle. As it contains the tomato sauce(condensed soup) it's very moist and I prefer a drier mix for handling meatballs.

My daughter Michelle though sometimes uses this mixture in her lasagna.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 7:01PM
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RuddMD

I made this again last night. I always double it, then make it into small loaves. I got 4 loaves out of this batch. One we ate last night and 3 to go into the freezer. I used a combination of ground beef and pork.

Yum!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 4:19PM
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pkramer60

Sharon, I made your recipe last week and it was a huge hit here. I didn't have any tomato soup, so I just used some paste and it worked out perfect. definately making this one again.

And the raw loaf freezes very well too.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 9:51PM
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mjny

I have been wanting to make this meatloaf, but (insert brain cramp here..LOL) I picked up a bottle of GOYA SOFRITO at the grocers thinking that is what I needed.

Soooooo, what is the difference between Tomato Frito, and GOYA SOFRITO? are they the same and if not, could I use this instead?

~mj------->who is now impatiently waiting to make this meatloaf now that I have most of the ingredients. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 11:09AM
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msazadi

I believe the Goya sofrito is a tomatoless mix. Onions, and various greens, maybe carrots too? A hispanic version of the trinity..onion, carrots and celery?

Any non liquidy tomato soup, sauce or even thick puree would work fine for the Tomato Frito - imho. Maureen

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 5:47PM
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woodie2

I have Goya Sofrito in my fridge and there are tomatoes in there! Sharon told me once that its not really a good substitute for the tomato frito, just use the tomato soup instead. That's what I do and it's delicious. One of these days I know I'll find tomato frito!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 6:49PM
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mjny

Thanks ladies. and yes, there are tomatoes in the sofrito. I'll do as you, woodie, and use tomato soup instead.

~mj------> who is now wondering what I can use the sofrito for?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 8:35AM
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canarybird01

Sorry I missed this mj ....but Woodie's right. It will turn out better with a concentrated (eg the red & white tin) undiluted tomato (not cream of) soup, unless you have a jar of tomato frito which is nearly the same as the concentrated soup.

Sofrito is a great help for making many things and I make my own or sometimes use a jar of sofrito if I'm in a hurry.

The one I make includes green peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion and olive oil and I see that's what is in the Goya Sofrito. The other sofrito - eg Ybarra brand doesn't use tomato but rather red peppers with garlic, onion and oil.

Another similar sauce is 'pisto' which uses eggplant, onion, garlic and oil. Some of these sauces are left a bit chunky and make a great base for stews or as sauce for tenderizing meat.

Mj you could use the sofrito for a stewed meat - brown the meat first, add the sofrito and water, put on lid and stew gently until meat is tender.

Good luck with the meatloaf !

SharonCb

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 4:32PM
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mjny

This was really really good. :) AND we have enough for leftovers. (empty nesters)

I also doubled the spices, but did NOT use any salt as I think the tomato soup has plenty of sodium. I chopped the pepper, celery, onion and carrots in my mini processor. I did not have any bread on hand, so I used some herbed stuffing mix instead.

I only had an orange bell pepper, so I used that. I could see where a different colored pepper would work for more color....between the tomato and the carrots and the pepper, but hey.......DH scarfed down his serving and went back for seconds.

Sharon, thanks for the recipe and the advice on frito/sofrito. I will make this again.
~mj

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 9:49AM
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fenworth

I don't know if this is the world's best meatloaf, but it certainly is the best one I've made! DW was annoyed that I strayed from MIL's recipe (and so was MIL when she told her) but all was forgotten once she tasted it.

Great recipe. I'll have to try it again with the tomate frito which sound like it might be a product I should aquaint myself with anyway. Couldn't find it where I shopped yesterday, but there's another supermarket that has a much better international section which I'll try. Thanks a lot!

p.s. Is it just me or is hand-grating celery a nightmare? Next time I'll definitely break out the food processor!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 8:26PM
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msazadi

I'm glad to see this recipe being revived..continueing on. It really is good Sharon and as many cooks have shown, you can fiddle with it and it's never quite the same. I made it just before Christmas as a treat for dh. He was delighted!

 Â

Fenworth, I always use the mini processor or just a knife. I think celery would certainly be a pita with all the strings. I thought dh would balk a bit at seeing the bits of veggies, but the flavor is so good he just 'et it up. Maureen

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 10:13PM
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woodie2

Fenworth, here are some notes I posted in September, I don't use my knife or a grater at all for this recipe, I just process and dump!
===========================

I put the meat into a large bowl, then the egg on top and beat it with a fork, then sprinkle all the dried seasonings on top. Then I do 4-5 slices of bread in the food processor and then empty the container on top of the meat. Then I chop the onion and pepper in the processor and dump on top of the meat. Then I put 3 celery stalks and 1 large carrot in the processor and process fine and dump it on top of the meat. Then I add the soup and mix it all up with my hands. I don't use my knife for this meatloaf!

I also double the seasonings as Sharon suggests (no salt for me) and I prefer red pepper over green pepper, once I even used canned roasted red pepper when I didn't have a pepper, it was great!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 11:19AM
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rosecmd

Has anyone tried ketchup in this? I'd probably use about 1/2 a cup instead of the condensed soup...tomato sauce would probably be ok too as some have suggested.

This looks like a great recipe. I love to lay good meaty bacon over the top of my meatloaf, it adds great flavor...can't wait to try this recipe. I love meatloaf sandwiches!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 4:46PM
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chase_gw

Sharon makes a point of saying "don't use ketchup" .

Sharon writes......

" My Notes:

1) I use 'tomate frito' instead of the condensed soup. It's a rich fried Spanish tomato purée but otherwise condensed soup is good. Never use ketchup !

I defer to the master meatloafer! LOL

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 5:16PM
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chase_gw

Sharon your meatloaf has been on my "to do" list for awhile now. I have several beef roasts and pork roasts in the freezer that may be a little tired. Thought I'd thaw them, grind them, and make some dishes to go back in the freezer, meatloaf, cabbage rolls, meat balls , bolognese, chili con carne etc.

Would like to do several of your meatloafs BUT would have to cook before refreezing. How does it do if frozen when already cooked?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 5:58PM
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msazadi

I don't know what Sharon thinks but dh finds the frozen one just perfect when he thaws sections for lunches. I do find it breaks up more than a dry meatloaf, but he doesn't care.
ymmv Maureen

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 6:13PM
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fenworth

woodie - You know what kills me is I didn't want to pull out the FP, totally forgetting that it was mandatory for that night's dinner anyway. (Meatloaf was cook-ahead for the week.) Either way, either my food processor or any one of the several mini chop things in my cabinet will definitely come out next time.

rosecmd - Generally I like the bacon thing. I also generally tend towards fattier chopped meat for flavor. But this is one meatloaf that was juicy, flavorful, and delicious even though I went with 93% lean. Save the bacon for Sunday brunch. In this particular case we can truly enjoy a meatloaf dinner that can arguably be called healthy!

- James

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 10:42PM
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canarybird01

Rose I tried it once with ketchup when I didn't have the condensed soup or tomate frito and it was far too sweet. The original recipe was for condensed tomato soup which is not always easy to find here. When I started to use

(my photo of how it looks) I found it so much better as it wasn't sweet and the tomato flavour was more intense, but not so strong as a tomato paste such as you'd use in a pasta sauce.

Sharon I have to admit that I've never had it in the freezer. We always seemed to eat it up on the day I made it and the following days hot and in cold sandwiches.

I've also ended up chopping the celery very finely with a large chef's knife instead of grating when the celery is stringy. We often don't get celery here year round as for some reason it goes bad before it hits the supermarkets, so I sometimes use

(web photo of celery like mine) which I grown in a pot. It is quite leafy and has a pungent celery aroma and flavour so I often mince pieces of that together with whatever stalk celery I can find.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 7:18AM
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woodie2

James - you have to keep your heavy appliances like a FP on or KA mixer on a waist high shelf where they're easy to slide out and transport to your counter. If its down low, its too much of a pain to bring it out and up.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 8:06AM
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fenworth

Woodie - You are absolutely right. I used my FP maybe twice in the first year of owning it since it lived buried in a cabinet. Now that it's on my bakers rack it gets used a bit more often. If it were in a really convenient place it would probably get used a lot. (As for the KA mixer, for me that's just a pretty appliance that I own only because I'm s'posed to. Doesn't seem to relate to much that I make.)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 10:36AM
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msazadi

Ok, I have two little Chantal loaf pans, the mini size,RED,

and I know I'll have lots left over but any idea how long I should cook a portion of this goodie in these little pans?
(My great intentions for Valentines' Day were delayed by the snow...) Maureen

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 5:23PM
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sherlou

The one I use is on the back of The Lipton Beefy Onion soup mix. It does have ketchup in it, but this is the favorite one for my family, and I've tried a few.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 10:18PM
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canarybird01

Maureen...
I'm sorry I can't help you there as I've always made mine in a flat rectangular shape, not using a loaf pan. But I guess you'd just have to start with a 40 minute check, take one out of the oven and cut into it to see how it's doing. If you do, could you please come back and tell us the results. Thanks.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 5:38AM
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san_

some notes on sharon's recipe. funny mj--i did the same thing as you and picked up a jar of sofrito before woodie told me that wasn't what i needed! we had made it twice before (without the frito) and really liked the flavor but i hadn't gotten the texture the way i liked it. i used other things for the tomatoes because we never have a can of the condensed tomato soup around. but we got it "just right" for us last night!

i used 2 pounds of 90% lean ground beef and 1 pound of plain ground pork, and used a mandoline to dice the veggies (because it's a whole lot faster than i am with a knife!). for the tomato frito i used a can of progresso's tomato with basil soup (it's ready to eat which obvioulsy wouldn't be as thick as a can of condensed soup). it fit very comfortably into a 7 1/2" x 11" pryrex baking dish and was done in either 55 or 60 minutes. for us, the taste and texture were just right and i'm sure will make some great sandwiches. thanx, sharon!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 1:29PM
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marylmi

I have been making this recipe out of ground turkey and it is very good. I used an over-size bread pan (9 1/2 x 6 1/4 x 2 1/2 deep) and it is perfect. Both DH and I think it's the best ever! I think he could just about eat the whole thing! LOL! I didn't double the spices and I used my little hand grater for the carrots. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 10:15AM
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soozinca

No follow ups on this recipe in a long time, so I don't know if anyone will see this. From the picture of Sharon's, I'm guessing this is baked uncovered? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 5:52PM
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canarybird01

Right Sooz...
I bake it uncovered in my fan oven. Just watch that the tomato on top doesn't burn. Depending on your oven you may have to turn down the temperature a little or move the casserole to a lower shelf if the top starts to look too dark.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 9:47AM
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eileenlaunonen

Im gonna make this tommorrow its very similar to my mothers recipe which I love

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 2:27PM
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