How to Make Meat Loaf

My mother returned to work after being a stay at home mother for over ten years when I was about ten. She would often come home after a day at the office too tired to cook. But she always made sure to have something defrosting for the evening meal, and on the days that she was so exhausted that she decided to take a nap after work, it was up to my sisters and me to prepare the dinner. 

My sisters did not particularly enjoy cooking, but I relished the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. My mother had taught me well how various flavors worked with each other, and she always made sure that I was well aware of basic cooking safety.  One of my favorite dishes to prepare was meat loaf. We had it every Wednesday in my house for as long as I can remember.

My meatloaf recipe evolved over the years. First, my mother used to buy ground beef for the meatloaf, and I used to use almost the entire spice cabinet to season the meat. Eventually, she started to use ground turkey instead. And we began to use the recipe we found of the back of the onion soup box to make a tasty meat loaf.

As an adult, I went back to using ground beef for my meat loaf, and for many years, I stuck with the traditional onion soup mix recipe. Then I got a suggestion from a friend to use V8 instead of ketchup, and to add parmesan cheese. I also decided to experiment with the meat loaf mix sold in the local grocery store, made of equal parts of ground beef, veal and pork.  Eventually I came up with this new favorite recipe.

3 lbs. meat loaf mix (ground beef,  pork and veal)
12 oz. can V8 vegetable juice
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Using your hands, thoroughly mix all ingredients together. Press into a loaf pan. Cook at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

© 2019 Paul Timman