When it comes to cooking, as with many other things, you just never really stop learning. And sometimes, life will have you learn new awesome tricks from the least likely sources, too!
My best friend, who doesn’t really cook much at all but who is very serious about his training regimen, has to follow a meal plan that has him eating 6 times a day, with the majority of his meals containing precisely 200g of meat. No need to be a math scientist to understand that the guy eats A LOT of meat on any given day.
Of course, he tries to vary the kinds of meats that he eats, and the way he cooks said meat, too. Recently, he thought he’d try his hand at making meatloaf and turned to me for guidance. Little did I know that he would be the one teaching me, that day.
You see the thing is, the guy doesn’t own a loaf pan… At first, I thought he was done for, that he would never be able to pull it off. I mean, how are you gonna make meatloaf if you don’t have a loaf pan, right? Still, he was determined to make it work, so upon taking a quick look at the gear that he had on hand, we picked a ceramic roasting pan and he simply shaped the meat by hand then dropped it right in the pot, just like that, without any other form of ceremony.
Plain and simple; stupid easy…
The meatloaf that came out of that dish was the most delicious looking meatloaf I’d ever laid eyes on in my entire life! All deliciously brown and crispy on the exterior while super moist and juicy on the interior! WOW! I was sold! The stupid easy, no-pan meatloaf that my friend had just whipped up looked better than any meatloaf I’d ever made. Practically made me want to throw away my loaf pans on the spot (whoa wait a minute, scratch that idea, there’s always banana bread, you know…)
Of course, I had to recreate that meatloaf for myself, just to be sure that it wasn’t a case of beginner’s luck or something, you know.
Nope. Not all all. My meatloaf came out looking (and tasting) every bit as delicious as his did.
Seriously! This is now hands down my favorite meatloaf recipe EVER! You’re looking at a meatloaf that is crispy all around (I’m ALL for crispy meat!) and that holds its shape super well when you slice into it. THE BOMB!
I am totally in love. I hope you will be too.
First off, preheat the oven to 375°F. Then, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Knead with your hands until all the ingredients are well combined, but do not overmix, otherwise your meatloaf will be tough.
Transfer the meat mixture into a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet and then shape it delicately into a pretty looking loaf.
That’s it. No need to do anything else to that meat. The oven will take care of making it look all nice and beautiful and crispy and brown and tasty… you’ll see! Just trust me.
Place your meatloaf in the oven and bake it for a total of 75 to 90 minutes, basting it once or twice during cooking.
Like I said, the oven will take care of making that meat look all beautiful and brown and crispy. If at some point you find that the meat is getting a tad too dark for your liking though, simply place a sheet of aluminium foil loosely over your meatloaf to keep it from browning too much.
Your meatloaf will be ready to come out of the oven when its internal temperature registers 160°F; you’ll then want to tent it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing it.
A meatloaf that pretty doesn’t need much of anything to dress it up: a handful of chopped parsley, for a little hint of green…
And if you’re anything like my friend and I, a little splash of sriracha sauce.
Because everything looks and tastes better with a little sriracha! 😉
And that’s it! All that’s left to do now is slice, and dig in!
Oh, and if you’re lucky enough as to generate leftovers? Try pan frying the cold slices to re-heat them… Y.U.M.M.E.R.S!
Stupid Easy No-Pan Meatloaf
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl; knead with your hands until all the ingredients are well combined but do not overmix or your meatloaf will be tough.
- Transfer the meat mixture into a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet and shape it delicately into a pretty looking loaf.
- Place your meatloaf in the oven and bake for a total of 75 to 90 minutes, or until it’s brown and crispy all around and the internal temperature registers 160°F. Baste the meatloaf once or twice during baking time and cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes cooking time if you find that it’s getting too dark for your liking.
- Upon taking the meatloaf out of the oven, tent it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
- Hit with a splash of hot sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley at the moment of serving, if desired.