Meatloaf is a common meal in most homes, and there are several recipes that can be used to give the meat flavor. Of course, if you want the perfect meatloaf, there is more to preparing the meatloaf than just adding spices. You need to make sure that you sculpt and bake the meatloaf to perfection as well.
Start off making the perfect meatloaf by placing one pound of ground beef, preferably angus beef, in a large mixing bowl. Add one egg, ½ cup of ketchup, one small chopped onion, three pieces of finely chopped garlic, ¾ of a cup of Italian flavored bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, a dash of salt, and a dash of pepper to the mixing bowl. Put on a pair of plastic gloves and begin folding the ingredients into the meat. This will take several minutes to complete because you need the ingredients to be completely combined.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating up, divide the meat into two loaves. One large loaf takes longer to cook, and ends up leaving the center moist with the edges completely dried out. Sculpt the two piles of meat into oval shapes.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and set the two meatloaves in the baking sheet so that they are next to each other, but not touching. Spread a thin layer of ketchup over the top of the two piles of meat to create the perfect meatloaf. Without the ketchup, the top of the meatloaf will get dry and crispy.
Bake the meatloaf for a total of thirty to forty-five minutes. The inside of the meatloaf must no longer be red in color before you can safely consume it. You can also check the temperature as well as the color. Just insert a meat thermometer into the center of the meatloaf. It should read 160 degrees F. before you remove the meatloaf from the oven.
Place the meatloaf still inside of the baking dish on a hot plate and wait 15 minutes. This gives the meatloaf time for the juices to settle, which helps keep the meat from drying out. Then carve the meatloaves into slices and arrange them on a serving platter.
The perfect meatloaf will also need a few tasty side dishes. Creamed corn, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and a side salad all go well with meatloaf as the main course. If these are not appealing to you consider sweet peas, sweet potatoes, or garlic butter brussels sprouts.
If you want to skip out on chopping onions and garlic, pour one full packet of a dry onion soup mix in with the meat. This will add the flavor you desire, without taking the time to do any chopping, when you are in a hurry to get your meatloaf in the oven.
Cover the meatloaf with a mushroom sauce if you are not fond of ketchup.
Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef to make the dish a bit healthier.