A few weeks back I was inspired to host “Family Meal” at my home and this week we finally got around to opening the door to do just that. Family Meal is simply a time to gather around the table for food and fellowship. Nothing fancy, keep it approachable. We invited our neighbors over and several of these lovely people were able to join us and bring along sides to go with what I made…what I consider the ultimate old-school family dish, “Meatloaf.” And my meatloaf is delicious and even my kids, who don’t eat anything much, absolutely love it. This meatloaf is adapted from writer and cook, Mary Beth Albright. There are a number of variations of this recipe all over the internet, but this is my pretty-close-to-hers, slightly modified version. It’s called sweet and spicy, but it’s not spicy hot just spicy spice. It has buttermilk and panko and I swear the secret is that mixture plus the fact that I use a meatloaf mix with beef, veal and pork. Easily found at most grocers. I get requests for it a lot, so I’m making it officially official by locking it in. Right here. PS…don’t let the somewhat lengthy list turn you off. It’s a snap to whip up except for the extra step of sweating the onions and garlic and you won’t mind that because it smell so darn good! Also the photo shown is of my attempt to cook it in cast iron and it turned out amazing but it’s great on a lined cookie sheet and easier to clean up.
Sweet & Spicy Glazed Meatloaf
(adapted from Mary Beth Albright) | Serves 6
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s but anything rich and smoky will do)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- splash of red wine vinegar (optional)
Heat these ingredients through completely, careful not to scorch. You’ll use some to glaze the meatloaf at the beginning and you’ll have plenty on hand for the meal and leftovers.
- 2 lbs meatloaf mix (beef, veal, pork or 1 lb beef, 1 lb ground pork if you can’t find the mix)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1-2 tbsp oil or fat of choice (bacon grease is good!)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Mix the buttermilk and the breadcrumbs together and let it thicken for about 5 minutes. The panko will soak up the buttermilk. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet, saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes until very soft but not brown. Add tomato paste and herbs and heat through. Set aside to cool.
Add buttermilk mixture and tomato paste mixture to the meatloaf mix in a large bowl. Mix with hands to incorporate the ingredients. Add salt and pepper and parmesan.
Turn the mix onto a lined sheet pan and shape into a loaf. Spread the glaze on top and sides of your loaf.
Bake at 425 degrees for 50 minutes or until done. Rest for 5 minutes.
***Variations…you can use sour cream instead of buttermilk and regular breadcrumbs or almond meal. The texture may change ever so slightly. Fresh herbs are key and I’ve only used freshly grated parm so I’m not sure what happens with the stuff in the can. I’ve probably used it before but I rarely use it anymore.
Do you have a meatloaf recipe that you and your family love?
“People who love to eat are always the best people.”