No, not the singer but the food. Meatloaf is another staple American dish dating back to the 1800’s.

Someone out there discovered that if you ground meat then you could use more of it, including the fattier and cheaper cuts. There was early suspicion around buying ground meat from retailers and so companies promoted the home grinder. Along with these grinders came recipe books on what to do with the ground meat. All sorts of inventive recipes grew out of this but the basic meatloaf has always been the most popular. (Image from Flickr)


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
600g lean ground beef or 400g lean ground beef and 200g pound ground pork
3/4 cup oats, quick or old-fashioned
1/4 cup chili sauce or ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten


Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped celery and onion and cook stirring occasionally until tender, for about 7 to 9 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix all the other ingredients (that’s right – everything). Put the mixture into a large baking pan and shape the meat mixture into a 22 x 15-cm loaf. Bake at 190° C for 1 hour.

Using 2 spatulas, carefully move meat loaf to a serving plate and slice. Use as leftovers for the rest of the week on sandwiches and as cold meat with salad.

Serves 6 to 8.


  1. I like to think I make a good meatloaf. My basic one is fairly similar to this but I don’t use oats or celery. Instead I coarsely grate a couple of large zucchinis and a large carrot (or two smaller ones). I also use mince rather than ground which is, I think, quite a bit finer than minced meat.

    The zucchini and carrot make up around around 50% by weight so it’s probably more accurate to call it a meat/vegetable loaf – hope that’s not against the spirit of this site. They get put after the meat has been browned and broken up a bit.

    It comes out far moister than the usual meatloaf but still holds together well and can still be sliced (hot or cold).

    1. Alan

      Thanks for this Thrash – I think most people in NZ would be using minced beef and pork – in my naive opinion ‘ground’ and ‘minced’ are interchangeable but you are right – the ground is a lot coarser in texture.

      BTW -I made it to Jackson’s Bakery in Havelock North last weekend and bought three pies (mince, steak, and steak and mushroom). I was disappointed with the temperature for a start – not hot enough – and so the taste was a bit dulled down for my liking. On reflection the mince would have been way up there if it had been piping hot – it had a very dark colour, great texture and a rich taste.

      You should definitely go. The place was packed.

      1. Pity about the pie heat. I find this to be all too common. Most places don’t have their pie warmers at a legally high enough temperature to make their goods safe to eat. Rule of thumb is that when the pie comes out of the warmer it should be almost too hot to touch at the least.

        I avoid chicken based pies altogether and take any other pies I buy to a place where I can re-heat them in an oven (not a microwave). Given this, pies aren’t really a hold in the hand and eat on the run option for me.

        Still haven’t made it to Jackson’s Bakery.

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