Saturday, December 12, 2009

To Ketchup or Not To Ketchup

When Mom T taught me how to make meatloaf, back when I was a new bride for the first time, she insisted that one does not put the ketchup* on the meatloaf while it cooks, only afterward, at the table. Since her meatloaf, a bumpy, chewy feast of textures and flavors, nicely caramelized and guaranteed to encourage overeating, is still my gold standard, I have always followed her dictum.

Lately, however, I've begun to question this doctrine. Meatloaf lovers, I'm curious - do you add the ketchup while the meatloaf is cooking, or not, and what is your reasoning for doing it whichever way you do?

Mom T's Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 lb bulk sausage**
1.5 slices bread, torn into small pieces
1 egg
1 medium-large onion, chopped
1 or 1 sticks celery, chopped

Sauté onion and celery until soft. Add to other ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Push into a shallow baking pan (it should be about 2" thick) and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour, to desired dark brownness. Serve with ketchup, preferably the sublime ketchup* that June Taylor makes.

**I realized upon typing this out that I have made a modification to her original recipe; I use 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of sausage, either bulk sausage or sometimes spicy Italian sausage. I also use whatever bread I have around although she always used sliced white bread.

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Blogger namastenancy said...

I don't like ketchup and have never used it. But if I want something tomato like on the meatloaf, I put fresh sausa on it, sometimes mixed with a bit of pureed banana for sweetness. But YMMV.

Saturday, December 12, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I haven't made meatloaf in ages. I think I'd like the ketchup on while it cooks, even if you have to wait until the last half of cooking to put it on so it doesn't burn. It gets brown and caramelized!
And I'm with Nancy. But I always have a bag of sweet homegrown tomato sauce in the freezer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

I don't put ketchup (tomato sauce) in before or on, after. I do, however, sometimes pop a spoon or 2 of sun-dried tomato paste into the mix.
Also, I only use mince (ground) meat, generally a veal & pork mix, but sometimes beef and when feeling fancy, chicken.
I think my meatloaf goes crispy brown on top because I give it a good olive oil rubdown just before it goes into the oven.

Saturday, December 12, 2009  
Blogger kudzu said...

I usually use no ketchup at all on my meatloaf, but on the times when I have a yen for it I do as Cookie does -- spread some over the top about half-way through cooking. It makes a nice sort of glaze and mellows the sharper ketchup flavor (though I am sure Miss June's needs no such mellowing).

Saturday, December 12, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, Cookie, Morgan, Kudzu, I can see that the consensus is for no ketchup at all. Thanks for the input.

Nancy, what's YMMV? I'm so square, I'm cubic.

Sunday, December 13, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

(Psst: Zoomie. "Your Mileage May Vary.")

Sunday, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I can always count on you to be in the know. Thanks.

Monday, December 14, 2009  

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