Marvelous Meatloaf

 Stud-muffin would like to be the official recipe-planner for this blog.

Which is an interesting suggestion.

Here is his first attempt - America's Test Kitchen's All Beef Meatloaf.
"The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook" (Google Affiliate Ad).

Back when we had a DVR, America's Test Kitchen was a frequent Saturday afternoon marathon viewing at our house.  I love how they use the best ingredients, and try out all kinds of techniques to make things truly the best that they can be. In addition to marathon watching, we also own the cookbook.

However, for a cook like me (um, lazy and totally in-over-her-head) these kinds of recipes make me cringe.

They call for things like ''braizing" and use meat thermometers and other scary utensils.


Also, while in achieving the absolute best-tasting food you can get, there are lots and lots and lots and lots of steps. 

So, beware: this absolutely amazing (stud-muffin approved) meatloaf took me* approximately 4 hours from chopping to serving.

*Note that the 'me' is particularly uncoordinated and slow at cooking, this could easily go much faster for you.

Worth it, according to stud-muffin. 

I guess you'll have to see for yourself.

This recipe has been modified to suit our tastes.

Marvelous Meatloaf


1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2  eggs
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
15 crushed saltine crackers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground beef chuck

1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Step #1: Dump 1 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl and put it in the freezer.

Step #2: Prepare your meatloaf baking apparatus: get a cookie sheet, tin foil, a skewer, and a cooling rack.  Take your tin foil and fold it in half to make it 6 inches wide.  then fold it around the cooling rack to make it about 10 inches long and so it won't move around.  Then poke holes through the tin foil (all the way through the fold!) with your skewer.  Place a sheet of tin foil on top of the cookie sheet (covering it - for easy clean-up). Then place the tin foil wrapped cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet.  Viola! You have just made a one-of-a-kind meatloaf cooking pan that will create a crust on all the sides and top of your meatloaf as well as allow the grease to drip down on to the cookie sheet instead of greasing up the meatloaf!

Step #3: Preheat oven to 375 degree.

Step #4: Melt butter in a large pan on medium-high heat until it foams.  Add onion and celery and saute until browns, about 6 minutes.

Step #5: Add garlic, thyme and paprika and stir to coat, while cooking, about 1 minute.

Step #6: Reduce heat to low and add tomato juice, and cook until thickened, about 1 minute, and turn off heat to cool.

Step #7: In a large bowl, whisk chicken broth and eggs until combined.  Sprinkle with gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.

Step #8: Stir in soy sauce, mustard, saltines, salt, pepper, and onion mixture from the pan.

Step #9: Take your frozen cheese and rub between your hands to crumble it in to the bowl and mix.

Step #10: Add 2 lbs of beef and use your hands to coat the beef with the bowl mixture and thoroughly combine.

Step #11: Carefully transfer the beef mixture to the baking apparatus you made and form it into a 6 inch by 10 inch loaf.  Smooth it with your hands so there are no cracks.

Step #12: Bake at 375 degrees until a meat thermometer reads 135 to 140 degrees, about 55-65 minutes.

Step #13: While meatloaf is cooking, combine all ingredients for the glaze in a small pan (ketchup, tabasco, cumin, rice vinegar, brown sugar -- note, this was a little spicy, if you don't like the spice, leave out the tabasco sauce).

Step #14: Simmer over medium heat until thick, about 5 minutes.

Step #15: Remove meatloaf and turn on your oven broiler.

Step #16: Spread half of the glaze mixture over your meatloaf with a brush.  Lay it on thick!

Step #17: Broil your meatloaf until glaze bubbles, about 5 minutes.

Step #18: Take out meatloaf and spread the rest of the glaze over it with your brush.

Step #19: Broil for another 5 minutes.

Step #20: Whew - let this meatloaf cool for about 20 minutes and serve!

This goes so well with Pear Stuffin' Muffins (and the first few steps are the same! Double up!)


  1. impressive recipe! a little to complex for my lazy tastes, but still awesome-glad you went outside of your box to make this!

  2. This looks wonderful! Good for you for modifying the recipe! You're getting quite talented!


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