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Comfort me with meatloaf

6 Recipes
Bistro meatloaf with green peas
(Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)

It got us through the Great Depression; it’ll get us through this.

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Meatloaf has come a long way since the Great Depression. Then, it was made only from the toughest cuts of meat and butcher-floor scraps “tenderized” by the recently invented meat grinder. It would then be combined with whatever fillers could be found to stretch it as far as it would go. Budget-friendly in the 1940s and fashionable in the ’50s and ’60s, nowadays this Depression staple is an icon of comfort food. Dozens of cookbooks are dedicated solely to meatloaf. We get all excited about which meats to use and in what proportions and how the fat ratios will impact the desired juiciness. We compare the merits of ketchup to those of an inventive glaze to the advantages of gravy for added moisture. We scrutinize every aspect of meatloaf, seeking the perfect balance of textures and flavors that will elicit the just-right feeling of contentedness and well-being that a warm, nourishing meal evokes. From Ben Mims’ keep it hassle-free approach to Noelle Carter’s wrap-it-in-bacon method to chef Brandon Boudet’s go for ketchup and gravy technique, we’ve got a meatloaf recipe to suit your hankering.

Bistro Meatloaf

Time50 minutes
YieldsServes 4

Bacon-wrapped meatloaf

Time2 hours
YieldsServes 8 to 12

101 Meatloaf

Time1 hour 30 minutes
YieldsServes 8 to 12

The Overland Cafe's turkey meatloaf

Time1 hour 30 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6

Wolfie’s Thursday night turkey meatloaf

Time1 hour 20 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8

Norms Meatloaf

Time1 hour 30 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8