Homemade meatloaf with ketchup icing (recipe)

Gourmet savory meatlof made easy with a great recipe and sweet patience.

Meatloaf goes well with lightly sautéed broccoli and tomatoes, or any fresh veggie and potatoes. By @talesofthecork

It’s time to put aside ugly memories of meatloaf tasting like sand and say hello to one of the best comfort food staples you’ll ever make. Plus, scroll a little further to find my wine recommendations to pair with this meal.

Believe me, while the list of ingredients seems long, the best meals always begin with your choice of ingredients. Before you get started, either open a bottle of one of these varietals or your favorite glass of red wine.

Check out my Instagram Reel to watch the process.

Wine pairing recommendations:

Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Cotes de Rhone blend, Zinfandel or Cabernet Franc. Each wine brings good structure, earthiness, varying levels of pepper and spice and dusty fruit. They’re excellent food wines which will enhance the savory goodness of the meatloaf. Heck even Cabernet and Merlot will work. Drink what you like.

Be that as it may, I chose to drink a Denner Vineyards 2008 Syrah from Paso Robles. I loved the lush, rich mouth feel, fruity characters of cassis, blackberry, and blue fruits. While I would’ve loved to have a little more earthy, leather or stone, the full-bodied and almost mocha taste certainly complemented the spice-driven and earthy meatloaf.

For even tastier meatloaf, prepare the day before to allow the ingredients to marinate in the fridge. The flavor difference is palpable!

@TalesoftheCork gourmet meatloaf for 6-8:

Dry ingredients (I use organic when available):
– 1 1/2 lbs. pasture-raised 15% ground beef
– 12 oz fine chopped Italian-style smoked chicken sausages 
– 1 large fine chopped yellow onion
– 6 shredded medium-sized carrots
– 6-10 fine chopped garlic cloves
– 3 chopped celery sticks
– 1 medium -sized thinly sliced (julienne) potato 
– 3-4 oz roasted tomato paste
– 4-6 oz chopped mushrooms
– 1/2 – 3/4 cup Panko crumbs 
– 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, cheddar, or Parmesan cheese
– chopped parsley (to taste)

This earthy and rich 2008 Syrah by Denner Vineyards is an excellent pair. By @talesofthecork

– 4 oz chopped dried cranberries
– chopped walnuts to taste

Spice list:
– fresh cracked pepper
– Rosemary salt
– Italian seasoning
– red meat seasoning
– 4 dashes onion powder
– 4 dashes garlic powder
– red pepper flakes to taste

Wet ingredients:
– 12 oz red wine (Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Cotes de Rhone blend, Zinfandel or Cabernet Franc)
– 3 tbls Dijon mustard
– 2 whisked eggs
– 1/4 cup half-n-half
– 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
– olive oil or avocado oil to taste

Tomato ‘icing’ list:
– 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
– 3 tbls dark brown sugar
– 1-2 dash nutmeg (season to taste)
– 1-2 dash allspice (season to taste)

Instructions: Prep time approx. 30 minutes:

I like to prep everything before I start cooking to make things easier. My recommendation is to start by finely chopping sausage, celery, onions, mushrooms, garlic, shredding the carrots, cheese, and finely slicing potatoes first, but follow your heart.

Pro tip:
Before starting the recipe, preheat a 425° oven to roast 6 oz tomato paste in olive oil and cracked pepper for 20 minutes. Remove when the edges are purple or dark brown.

1. Fresh-chop mushrooms and pan-roast them with 2 tbls of olive or avocado oil 6 oz red wine for 1 minute. Add to meat mixture.

Meatloaf is an extremely simple dish, just requires a trip to the grocery store and patience. By @talesofthecork

2. Use a large mixing bowl to combine ground beef, finely chopped sausages, onions, celery, fresh garlic, shredded carrots, roasted tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, hot mushrooms, a generous spoonful of Dijon mustard, and Panko crumbs.

3. Whisk two cracked eggs and half-and-half or cream until frothy, then add to mixture.

4. And spices to the mixture and adjust amount to your preferences.

5. Now it’s time to get dirty. Pull your sleeves up and, using your hands, vigorously mix all the ingredients until completely uniform.

6. Fill half of a greased loaf pan with the meat mixture, pressing firmly to ensure no empty spaces. Layer Julienne potato slices to cover the half-filled meat loaf pan and sprinkle cheese mixture over top the potatoes. Top with cracked pepper to season. If desired, finish layering with some fresh parsley. 

7. Fill remaining loaf pan with meat mixture to the top of the pan. Again, to ensure no empty spaces, press firmly to keep the meatloaf even.

A thin layer of cheese and thinly slicked potatoes gives a little extra zhuzh. By @talesofthecork

8. Bake loaf pan in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes. 

Pro tip:

It is a good idea to place loaf pan on a cookie sheet to protect against overflow.

9. While loaf pan is cooking, create an easy tomato-based meatloaf topping or ‘icing’ as I like to call it. Mix tomato ketchup, brown sugar, nutmeg and/or allspice to a creamy consistency. Spread mixture to cover the top of the meatloaf AFTER it has cooked for 30 minutes. Spread evenly.

10. Return meatloaf to oven for another 25 minutes or so, until loaf temperature is around 155 – 165°. Be sure to let meatloaf rest at least 10 minutes after cooking time.

Side dish recommendations:

Herb, garlic and onion roasted potatoes and roasted broccolini would complement this amazing dinner!

It is important to ensure that meat is thoroughly cooked before eating. See FDA recommendations.

Meatloaf can be served hot with scalloped potatoes, roasted broccoli, corn and/or a side salad. I know this looks like a lot, but it’s a one pan, one bowl meal. While I won’t be serving and enjoying with my vegetarian daughters, it’s a great family meal, especially in these winter months. 

Bon appétit!