How To Make (a whole mess of) Meatoaf

Yesterday I introduced my new “Cook for a day, eat for a week” plan, with a side of potatoes au gratin. Today is the entrée: meatloaf. This is pretty much the same recipe as the last time I did meatloaf, with just a few differences.

First, multiply all the ingredients by four. (I’m lucky I changed my mind. I was originally going to do six but … well, you’ll see.) Second, instead of buttermilk I used yogurt. Pretty much any dairy you have will work. Yes, I’ve used sour cream. Tastes fine. Finally, when you’re going to be freezing it and re-heating via boil-in-bag, you don’t have to worry about presentation, like, at all.


8 pounds ground beef
8 large eggs
4 cups bread crumbs (see below)
4 large carrots
2 large onions
2 cups yogurt (not pictured)
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (see below)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper


Veggie prep

The last time I did meatloaf, I used my tiny food processor to make the bread crumbs. Since I was doing a much bigger batch — yup, more of the organic garlic bread — I borrowed a normal size food processor this time.

Man, do I need to get one of these things.

Oh, by the way, DON’T DO THE BREAD FIRST! (I’ll explain why in a second. I just threw that in for the people who are skimming and following the pictures.)

Wash the carrots well, but don’t bother peeling them. No one will notice the difference.

Chop the carrots into pieces no longer than half the diameter of the food processor. Peel and quarter the onions. Feed the pieces into the processor, alternating carrot and onion, until it’s all in, or the processor is full. Chop it very fine, just short of turning it into a puree.

I should have done the veggies first. Then the bread would have soaked up all the onion and carrot juice. Mental note for next time. (Wait, if I write it on my blog it’s not really a “mental” note any more, is it? Yes, this is what my wife has to put up with.)

Mix the bread crumbs and the processed carrots and onions in a large bowl. Bigger than this. Which I don’t have. (Yet.)

Push the carrot mixture to the side and add the eggs and Worcestershire sauce. If I were multiplying my previous recipe exactly, there would be eight tablespoons here. But my younger daughter thought it was “too spicy”. She takes after her grandmother, who thinks ketchup is spicy.

Add the salt and pepper. I’ll admit, I don’t measure salt and pepper. I probably should have, since I was making way more than I’m used to. But I’m daring like that.

You can find lots of meatloaf recipes that call for milk. I was out of milk one night, but had some sour cream that had been in the fridge a little too long. (And just what happens when sour cream goes bad, anyway? Does it stop being sour?) I used that and it tasted great. The next time it was leftover onion dip. Last time, I had some leftover buttermilk. Good, and good.

Now I just grab whatever dairy product I’ve got that has been around the longest. This time it was yogurt.

Stir all the wet ingredients together, then stir into the carrot mix.

Adding the meat to the meatloaf

Now that all the other ingredients are well mixed, add the ground beef (pork, veal, venison, whatever you’ve got) and mix it in.

You can see all that food barely fit in my largest bowl. I’ve got to get something bigger if I’m going to keep doing this.

Since I multiplied my basic recipe by four, I was going to make four individual meatloaves. Then I realized, why would I want all those extra end pieces? I don’t of course. So instead I just did two monster loaves.

Now that’s meatloaf.

Insert the probe for your digital thermometer and bake at 350° until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°. No, don’t cook by time, that doesn’t really work.

(Okay, mine took just a bit short of an hour, but you can’t count on that. Okay?)

When they were done, they didn’t look at all alike.

The one on top had a nice crust on it, but the bottom one had none at all. I think I should set the racks farther apart.

But like I said up top, we don’t have to worry about presentation. Because no one’s going to see them all assembled like this.

Let them rest for five or ten minutes before cutting, or they will crumble. Each loaf was longer than my cutting board, so I cut off an end to start.

Slice the end, then the rest, into inch-thick slices. Note how I’m holding the edge together so it doesn’t fall apart. And this is with a very sharp knife. It’s all the bread crumbs and veggies that makes the texture so crumbly. (In a good way, you don’t want tough meatloaf.)

Since I’m vacuum sealing these, I didn’t want to crush the meatloaf. If you’re just going to wrap and freeze them, skip the next step.

Arrange all the slices in a single layer on a tray lined with wax paper. I actually needed three trays to hold all of it.

Put the trays in the freezer until everything is firmed up, but not frozen, then freeze two to four pieces in a package.


When you’re ready to serve it, put one bag in a pot of water over high heat.

I put this in on top of a pack of potatoes au gratin. It didn’t all fit at first, but as soon as the potatoes thawed out it settled in.

Put the bag in before you turn the heat on. If you drop a frozen package in boiling water you can get a mini explosion. Even if you don’t get anything worse than a ripped bag, that’s still a pain.

Once the water comes to a boil, turn it down and simmer for 10 minutes or so. The beauty of boil-in-bag meals is that you can leave it in the hot water for a long time and the food will never dry out.

Remove the package from the water with tongs, cut the bag open, and carefully slide the meat out onto a serving dish.

And that’s it.

Home-made entrée … home-made side dish … no dirty pots and pans to clean … total of five minutes invested in dinner … Yeah, I’ll be doing a lot more of this.

Bulk: Meat Loaf

Bulk: Meat Loaf


  • 8 pounds ground meat
  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 cups bread crumbs
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cups yogurt, sour cream, or milk
  • 4-8 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper


Mix together eggs, Worcestershire, yogurt / sour cream / milk, salt and pepper.

Process carrot and onion in a food processor until minced, amost a puree. Add to wet ingredients. Process bread into crumbs, and add to wet ingredients.

Add ground meat -- beef, pork, veal, venison, any combination -- and mix together. Shape into two large loaves. Bake at 350° until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°. (About an hour.)