For the meatloaf
- 4 slices white bread, crusts cut off
- ½ cup milk
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
- 2 eggs (FYI: 1 egg per pound of meat is almost always the rule for meatloaf)
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
For the gravy
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 14 ¾ ounce can low sodium beef stock (or make your own beef stock if possible)
- 1/3 cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Few dashes of hot sauce (we like Cholula)
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- To prepare the meatloaf, begin by soaking the white bread in the milk.
- While bread is soaking, add all other ingredients to a large bowl.
- With your hands, work the soaked bread until mushed. Add bread and any milk left in the bowl to the beef mixture.
- Gently fold and mix all ingredients until blended. Do not over mix or meatloaf will come out tough.
- On a parchment lined sheet pan, shape mixture into a loaf. Use a spatula to square off all sides. With wet hands, smooth all surfaces of the loaf. This will stop it from cracking when it cooks.
- Place in the refrigerator for one hour to set up.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place meatloaf in preheated oven on center rack and bake for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees with a probe thermometer. Special note on this. Once you pierce the meatloaf with the probe and remove it, a flood of juices will flow out like a faucet. If you probe it and it is done, leave the probe in as it sets. If it needs to go back in the oven, plug the hole. I needed five more minutes and used a metal skewer to plug it. Sounds silly but worked great.
- Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
- To prepare the gravy, melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. When butter is completely melted, add flour and stir. Cook the flour and butter mixture stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes or until the raw flour smell is gone. (The smell will resemble cooked chestnuts when ready.)
- Add the entire can of stock and stir with a wire whisk until blended.
- Add milk, thyme, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Kitchen Bouquet. Stir to blend.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Serve the gravy over slices of meatloaf.