The main point of this prison-style meatloaf video is to show you what happens when you make meatloaf like your grandparents did. And no, I’m not accusing your relatives of spending time in the joint. During the Great Depression this type of dish was a popular strategy for stretching what little meat you had, into as filling a meal as possible.
As times got better, people went back to meatier versions, and now only low-budget, high-volume food service operations feature this culinary dinosaur. I did an Italian meatball-inspired version, which was quite nice, but this method will work with virtually any meatloaf recipe.
Most modern meatloaves call for about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dry crumbs per two pounds of meat, and here we’re using 1 1/2 cups. It makes a significant difference in the texture, producing something much softer and moister. While not as “meaty,” this does make for an interesting alternative to play around with. I’m looking at you, family of 10.
As I say in the video, I decided to spike my tomato sauce with too much balsamic vinegar, which rendered it not great. So, if you’re going to follow this recipe, just use a regular pasta sauce, or your favorite meatloaf glaze. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 1 giant meatloaf (about 10 large portions):
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground chuck
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about a packed 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups very dry white bread crumbs (not toasted!)
1 1/2 cups milk to soak (squeeze out excess)
3 or 4 cups of tomato sauce to bake in, optional
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