Meatloaf is the girl with a bad reputation that most people would love if they just got to know her. Warm, comforting, and tasty as leftovers, meat loaf is homestyle boy bait at its finest. Of course, plenty of girls dig mom food too. This is a perfect meal when your honey’s had a bad day (as long as they’re not vegetarian).
This version is kicked up a bit with a bottle of beer and plenty of spice. If your only memories of meatloaf are cafeteria-style, now’s the time to give it another chance.
1 lb ground beef (or lamb, or turkey)
1 bottle of dark beer (taste tested with Boulevard Brewing Co. Bully Porter)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 of one onion, finely chopped OR grated if you’d like to soften the taste
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs (you can find packaged bread crumbs anywhere. dry stuffing mix or crushed crackers work too.)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (technically optional, but really makes a difference)
salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon), black pepper (generous pinch), and garlic powder (two generous sprinklings)
your choice of topping (see below)
Put the ground beef in a large plastic bowl. Pour in 3/4 cup of beer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder and stir gently to combine. Be gentle; you’ll be mixing more later and you don’t want to pulverize the meat. Just make sure the beer is evenly mixed in. Cover and refrigerate for as much time as you have, no more than a day.
Note: If you don’t remember to marinate in advance, no biggie. Just remember to add the beer later on.
Add eggs, bread crumbs, chopped onion, basil, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir with a fork to combine, adding another sprinkle of salt, pepper, or garlic if you feel the need. Slide the whole mixture into a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. If you don’t have a loaf pan, turn the meat onto a greased cookie sheet or glass casserole pan and shape your own loaf. Slide into a preheated 350° oven and bake for 1 hour and ten minutes.
I highly recommend using one of these topping options…
Like Momma’s: mix 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar OR molasses, and a teaspoon dry mustard OR one teaspoon of regular yellow mustard. Spoon over top of meatloaf halfway through cooking and return to oven.
BBQ: before baking, skip Worcestershire sauce and add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke. The stuff exists, trust me, and it’s deliciously weird. Halfway through cooking, spoon 1/2 cup BBQ sauce over the top and return to oven.
Restaurant Style: prepare a 79¢ packet of mushroom gravy according to directions. Drizzle gravy over finished meatloaf, reserving some for the table. Don’t forget to throw away the packet where your honey can’t see.
Let the loaf sit for ten minutes or so before slicing, and serve with mashed potatoes.