Everyone has a different idea of how meatloaf should taste. I am always looking for ways to revise and improve my recipe. The sour cream imparts extra moisture, even if you overcook it a little. The herbs add a fresh taste. If you have time, grind your own beef, using brisket and chuck cuts, and your own pork, using shoulder cuts.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 small yellow onions, peeled and minced (should equal roughly 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed, washed, dried and chopped, 1/4 cup total
- 1 small bunch tarragon, stemmed, washed, dried and chopped, 1/4 cup total
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Additional ketchup for brushing, if desired
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix the beef and pork and gently knead them together with your hands. Add the paprika, salt and pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix to blend.
The taste test: Heat a small saucepan and add the vegetable oil. When the oil begins to smoke, lower the heat and add a small piece of the mixture. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and taste. Check seasoning. If too moist, add more bread crumbs. If too dry, add an extra egg.
Mold the meat into a loaf and place it in the center of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a pan without high edges will yield a meatloaf with a crust. Cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Brush it with additional ketchup and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Bake until the meat is firm when touched or when it has an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, about 45 additional minutes. Remove from the oven, pour off any excess grease and allow it to "rest" for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Brush again with ketchup, if desired.