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Better Late Than Never: Horseradish Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf Appreciation Day was on October 18th and I can’t believe I missed it! Actually, I can. I miss everything! But I did have every intention of participating in the meatloaf roundup hosted by Serious Eats. But even though I missed the deadline, I’m still going to share my Horseradish Meatloaf with you!

I’ll be the first to admit that this photo isn’t exactly drool-inducing. Meatloaf isn’t very photogenic and the fluorescent lighting in my kitchen didn’t help either! But trust me, this is good meatloaf! And that’s coming from someone who spent the first 32 years of her life hating all meatloaf!

That’s right. I have always hated meatloaf. My mom always put chopped onions in hers and that was more than enough to turn me off meatloaf. Because if there was anything I hated more than meatloaf as a kid, it was onions (and asparagus and mushrooms and fish)!

I could never understand why anyone would go out of their way to create one of these unsightly lumps of meat. And I really didn’t understand the fascination with meatloaf sandwiches. Cold, congealed meatloaf on bread? No thanks! But my parents loved meatloaf sandwiches and it seemed like I was one of the few people around me who didn’t think meatloaf sandwiches were the greatest thing ever.

I just didn’t get it.

And then, a few weeks ago, I needed to make dinner and we really didn’t have much in the house at all except a couple packages of ground beef in the freezer. I jokingly said to my husband, “Well, it looks like meatloaf tonight!” We both laughed for a minute, knowing full well that I wasn’t going to make something so disgusting for dinner.

But then I thought about it. What if I made my own version of onion-free meatloaf? Maybe the onions were the only thing I hated about it. I wasn’t convinced, but I decided to dig through a cookbook and find out what other ingredients a traditional meatloaf contains.

The first book I grabbed was Southern Living’s Homestyle Cooking, one of my favorites! I looked up ‘meatloaf’ in the index and there it was, Horseradish Meatloaf. I knew that it was meant to be. Horseradish has become one of my favorite flavors over the last few years and I knew that if I were going to like a meatloaf, this would be the one.

Of course I had to make a few changes. The main one being that I used onion powder instead of chopped onions. Don’t get me wrong, I do eat onions now. I cook with them all the time. But there is no way I will ever be able to eat meatloaf with chunks of onion in it. I was scarred for life when I was forced to eat it that way as a child and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Well, I made the horseradish meatloaf that night and it was a revelation! The house smelled better than it had since the last time I cooked a holiday meal here. Seriously, it smelled that good. And it tasted great, too! After the first bite, my husband looked at me and said, “Why is this the first time we’re eating meatloaf?” I couldn’t think of a good answer.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Southern Living recipe is that it called for rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs. I thought the oatmeal gave it a strange texture and it didn’t really hold together very well.

So, I made it again a week later and made some more changes. This time it was perfect. And now I do understand why people love meatloaf sandwiches so much! This meatloaf made one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever tasted. I tried them several ways but my favorite sandwich creation was meatloaf on homemade buttermilk bread with ketchup, mayo, lettuce and extra sharp cheddar. My mouth is watering right now just writing about it!

Perhaps the best thing about this meatloaf is the topping. I have been instructed by my husband to make twice as much sauce next time so that we can have extra for sandwiches. I think you might want to do the same!

The first time I made this, I used a loaf pan and the second time I formed the meat into a freestanding loaf on a baking sheet. I preferred the freestanding loaf but I’ll leave it to you to decide which way you want to do it!

So here’s my recipe for Horseradish meatloaf inspired by the recipe in the cookbook, Southern Living Homestyle Cooking.

If you’re like me and you missed the National Meatloaf Appreciation Day, you can still go to Serious Eats and see what everyone else came up with!

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