Nothing says comfort food like meatloaf and potatoes. Except, that there is really nothing comforting about a flavorless slab of dry ground beef sitting on a plate. There just isn’t enough gravy to make that palatable. So, meatloaf was never a favorite in our houses growing up (no offense to our moms, who are truly great cooks otherwise, just for some reason not the meatloaf) and the memories of those meals haunted us until several years ago when a good friend sent me an amazing, flavorful recipe called Market Street Meatloaf.
While the original recipe is incredible, it is long, with a lot of steps and includes several ingredients that aren’t typically considered a staple in my house. It is also very time consuming. So, I’ve been tweaking the recipe for years now and it never fails to please, no matter how I change it up. Even my pickiest of eaters cleans her plate every time.
One of the things I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. I don’t always have celery. It’s true. And it’s absence is hardly noticed. If I’m feeling daring, I will dice up a jalapeno and throw it in to give it an extra kick. I’ve even been known to grab some frozen spinach or dice some fresh squash and zucchini and toss it into the mix. It’s virtually no fail.
We usually make a double recipe so we can freeze one loaf to have for a future week when it’s just too busy to cook.
This is my base recipe and I try to stick to it, but like I said, sometimes, I don’t have celery, or maybe I don’t have a green pepper. I just keep going. You can add a little more red pepper, or any other color pepper. You can even use celery salt, if you happen to have it in your cupboard. If not, don’t fret. It’ll still be tasty.
Meatloaf Recipe, Revisited and Refined
Ingredients Pt. 1
3/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup celery, minced
1/2 cup carrot, diced fine
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced fine
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced fine
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine or EVOO
Note: Here’s where you can add any additional vegetables you want as well as the jalapeno.
Ingredients Pt. 2
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup half-and-half (I use non dairy creamer)
½ cup ketchup + some to pour on top
2 eggs, beaten (You can also use Egg Beaters)
2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 -3/4 cup dry plain breadcrumbs
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the butter/margarine/EVOO into a large pan. Add all of the Ingredients from Pt 1. Sauté until cooked through and tender. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl add the Pt 2. Ingredients with only ½ cup of the breadcrumbs. Mix together well.
Add the sautéed vegetables.
You may now need to add more breadcrumbs to get it to the texture where it will bind together and not be too mushy.
Shape the meat and place in a loaf pan (or two). Create a well down the middle of the loaf and squeeze a generous line of ketchup down the line.
Bake uncovered for 1 ½ -2 hrs at 375 degrees F. It should be brown on top but not burned. There may be a lot of liquid (extra fat) in the pan after it’s cooked. Remove the meatloaf from pan to a plate with a slotted spatula, drain the liquid and put the meatloaf back in the pan for easy serving and cleanup.
The original Market Street Meatloaf recipe comes from California’s 72 Market Street Restaurant which closed in 2000 but it can be found in the Silver Palate New Basics Cookbook. My recipe is an adaptation of the original Market Street Meatloaf Recipe.