It’s my belief that, by and large, people of my generation don’t really do meatloaf. It’s not that we have anything against eating our meat in less-than-natural shapes. Many of the proteins of our childhoods came in a shaped fashion: nuggets (as in the “Mc” kind) and sticks (fish), for example. And while I may have outgrown these shapes, I still enjoy meatballs and all manner of burger patties.
But the loaf? Not so much. This comes as a great shock and disappointment to my parents, who eagerly anticipate very regular meatloaf nights—a tradition they hatched pretty much the instant both my sister and I moved out of the house. While my parents’ love of the loaf form, along with the comfort food craze a few years back, make it clear that a segment of the population adores meatloaf, I’ve just had a hard time getting all that excited about it.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
But, this blog makes me do the unthinkable, apparently. In the quest to cook everything but (forgive me, please) The Kitchen Sink, meatloaf crept onto my “must cook” list around mid-winter. Since then, I’ve been looking for a recipe that involved little or no ketchup, a condiment with which I have an on-again/off-again relationship (right now, we’re off). With that very tiny goal, I came up empty. Zilch. Zero. Apparently the all-American condiment is somewhat of an essential ingredient. So, I opted for a recipe that only involved a wee bit of ketchup. And one that featured ground turkey, rather than beef. And, though I was originally drawn to recipes using oats, I settled on one that called for panko instead.
Given the updated recipe and my open mind, I am happy to report that I am now officially a fan of meatloaf. Well, at least this meatloaf, which was tender and juicy and lightly dense and flavorful. We barely ate one mini loaf between the two of us, so I’m excited to build a meatloaf sandwich with the leftovers … Did I really just say that? My parents must be beaming with pride.
The Martha Stewart Show
2/3 cups panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
3 pounds lean (7 percent) ground turkey, preferably organic
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place panko and milk in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add turkey, onions, eggs, 1/4 cup ketchup, parsley, mustard, salt, sage, and pepper to breadcrumb mixture. Gently mix until well combined. Transfer mixture to a 9 3/4-inch-by-5 3/4-inch loaf pan.* Brush top with remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup.
Transfer meatloaf to oven and bake, draining any accumulated juices as necessary, until it reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.* Serve immediately or use to prepare sandwiches.
* I halved the recipe and used two mini loaf pans. I baked them at 350 for about about 45 minutes, which is about how long it took for them to reach 165 degrees.