Meatloaf with Sweetly-Spiced Glaze elevates the humble meatloaf from a hide-the-stretchers catch-all to a worthy main event. We mingle beef, pork, and turkey for a balance of flavor and texture.
Oh, and there’s a brilliant sweetly-spiced, tangy sauce to glaze the humble loaf or spread on sandwiches.
Tame those onions for better meatloaf.
This recipe also addresses onions in the best way possible—cook the onions before adding to the meat to mellow and soften their influence (children rejoice!). I dreaded meatloaf as a kid because the massive chunks of onion.
Dinnertime wasn’t the time for nonsense at our house, so I was usually in trouble by the time I was done picking through my crumbled meat to reject them.
For the best meatloaf, don’t go overboard with the add-ins.
Too many add-ins make the loaf crumbly and ruin the texture. My mom used meatloaf as a place to hide vegetables, compensate for the cost of meat with “stretchers”, or save a step by throwing everything together in one bowl.
It was just too much—oats, rice, carrots, bell pepper—I can still remember the awful visual of white specks of rice. Thankfully, this didn’t completely turn me off to an amazing, crave-worthy comfort food.
Is it the meatloaf or the leftover meatloaf sandwich?
The next day you’ll have to decide whether to smear this amazing glaze or mayonnaise (or both) on your meatloaf sandwich. Trust me, it will be a difficult decision if it’s been just mayo up to this point. Then you’ll be prepared to weigh in on the debate—the meatloaf, or the meatloaf sandwich?
It’s still not settled at our house.
Adapted from Cooks Country Glazed Meatloaf.
Meatloaf with Sweetly-Spiced Glaze
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion -- about 1 cup (, chopped fine)
- 3 cloves garlic -- minced
- 2/3 cup crushed organic saltine crackers -- about 17 crackers
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 large eggs -- beaten
- 1 large egg yolk -- beaten with eggs
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/3 cup finely-chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Make glaze by whisking all glaze ingredients in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Reserve 1/3 cup glaze mixture, then simmer remaining glaze over med heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
- Heat oil in a skillet over med heat; cook onion until golden at the edges. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, gently mix the beef, pork, and turkey by hand until combined. Process the saltines in a food processor into a fine texture, or place in a zip-type bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Add the crackers to the milk in a small mixing bowl. Add the eggs and yolk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper, along with the cooked onions and garlic to the milk and cracker paste; mix well and then add to the meat. Gently mix until well incorporated.
- Divide and shape mixture into two loaves, side by side, on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Trim parchment paper around outside edge of loaves to remove excess, leaving about an inch around loaves.
- Broil on HIGH, 5-6 inches away from element, until well browned, 8-10 minutes. Brush some of the reserved, uncooked glaze over top and sides of loaves and return to oven to broil until glaze begins to brown, 3-4 minutes.
- Move the oven rack to the middle position and bake loaves at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until meat registers 160°F. Transfer to carving board, tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes.
- Serve with cooked glaze at the table.
Side Dish Recipes for Meatloaf:
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