You ask, I deliver. Like many cooks, I had never written my meatloaf recipe down, so it took some time to develop yesterday. Luckily, sitting at my kitchen counter playing with food is exactly heaven for me.
When meatloaf goes wrong, it goes really wrong. When you make this recipe, you’ll liteally see why panko bread crumbs make a difference – when soaked with buttermilk, panko forms a spongy texture very different from regular bread crumbs. The meatloaf’s texture is lighter, yet richer from the thick buttermilk. You can find panko Japanese breadcrumbs in many grocery stores now.
The best ingredients always yield the best results – I use top-quality beef, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, barbeque sauce I love. The next day, you’ll make the best meatloaf sandwiches EVER, the kind of lunch that you take to work and eat by 10:30 am.
Knock-Your-Pants-Off Sweet & Spicy Glazed Buttermilk Meatloaf
For the Glaze:
1 cup ketchup
1 cup barbeque sauce
½ cup brown sugar
For the Meatloaf:
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup whole-fat buttermilk
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup small-diced onion
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 ½ lbs. ground beef (85% lean-15% fat)
½ lb. ground pork
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and place over low heat.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent (try not to brown). Add parsley, basil, and tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine Panko and buttermilk and set aside for 5 minutes. Then in a large bowl, place beef, pork, cheese, salt and pepper, the onion mixture, and the panko mixture. Mix with your hands until just combined.
On a rimmed baking pan (I use 13x9x2), form the mixture into a loaf shape sitting in the center of the pan, with all four sides exposed.* Brush sides and top with some glaze, then bake for about 50 minutes, removing the pan every 10 minutes or so to brush on more glaze. (At the end of baking, you will not have used all of the glaze mixture – just keep it in the saucepan on low and stir it every few minutes.)
Cool for 5 minutes, slice, and serve hot with leftover glaze as sauce.
*I use a rimmed baking pan (at least 1-inch tall) rather than a loaf pan for two reasons. One, you need a high fat content meat to keep the loaf moist during cooking, and meatloaf in a loaf pan winds up having an oil slick at the top. Using a rimmed sheet allows the fat to drain from the meatloaf, but keeps the fat from leaking into your oven. Two, the glaze is amazing and a free-form loaf, rather than one shaped to fill a pan, allows you to glaze the sides so you get more sweet-tangy, crunchy yummy crust in every bite.