Southern foods, also termed as 'soul food' or 'comfort food', nourish the body and warm the heart. The Southern meatloaf composed of ground beef is cooked in a cast iron skillet. Over a century after its inception, it still remains a staple food for Americans and is usually served with a portion of vegetables and mashed potatoes. While making meatloaf, it is very important not to let it dry up, but to ensure that the meat maintains its moisture and is succulent. Filtered down through generations, these recipes seem to be the closest one can get to the original Southern meatloaf.
Southern Beef and Bacon Meatloaf
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- 10 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, cooked bacon, bread crumbs, eggs, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well, preferably using your hands.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- The next step is to prepare your sauce. Mix the ketchup and mustard together in a bowl. Out of this, add ¼ cup of the mixture to the meat and keep aside the remaining mixture.
- Place the meat mixture into a 9×5×3 inch loaf pan. If you do not own a loaf tin, you could arrange the meat in the form of a loaf in any pan and place it in the oven. Generously use the remaining mustard-ketchup sauce to coat the meat. Bake it for 40 minutes. Arrange the French fried onions on top of the loaf and continue baking it for another 10 to 15 minutes. Your meatloaf should be cooked by this time, but you can cook it for a little while longer if the meat is not yet brown. Once done, take it out from the oven and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Then slice and serve it.
Southern Parmesan & Mushroom Meatloaf
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 (6-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ lb ground round
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup milk
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Italian six-cheese blend
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped shallot, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. Be careful that they do not burn.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together ground round, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, milk, eggs, salt and pepper. Lightly grease the meatloaf pan with butter and add the meat mixture into it. Top it with the sauteed mushroom mixture and shredded cheese.
- Place the meatloaf pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Take it out and check it. If the center is still pink you can bake it for another 10-15 minutes. Once done, take it out from the oven and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Then slice and serve it.
This wholesome meal is a perfect everyday food. A light, fruity red wine complements a meatloaf meal well. Don't worry about leftovers, they can be used to make sandwiches or as an ingredient to make a whole new meal! A fun way to cook is to involve the entire family in making the meal by delegating the preparation of mashed potatoes and vegetables.