The Single Addition That Will Add A Delicious Richness To Your Meatloaf

There are certain recipes that every home chef instinctually knows how to make. Besides the basics like scrambled eggs, baked chicken, and chocolate chip cookies, meatloaf is a simple meal that can be made in a variety of ways. Next to easy beef stew and pineapple upside-down cake, meatloaf is also one of those nostalgic recipes that you, your parents, and even your grandparents have been enjoying for decades. Even though the Romans handcrafted the first semblance of meatloaf out of meat, bread, and wine, there are plenty of ways to level up your typical meatloaf recipe in the 21st century.

While basic meatloaf typically contains varying combinations of ground meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, and some form of starch like breadcrumbs, there is one ingredient you might have never thought to add to this convenient dish. Sure enough, if you want to make your next homemade meatloaf extra delicious, just add butter. The suggested addition of butter may come as no surprise since this rich, golden fat is known for elevating even the most basic foods. However, when added to meatloaf, butter not only provides an extra boost of savory flavor but also adds a helpful serving of moisture to your specialty loaf, giving you an ultra-rich, perfectly tender meatloaf each and every time.

How exactly is butter incorporated into standard meatloaf recipes?

The thought of changing up your grandmother's classic beef meatloaf recipe may feel like a betrayal, but butter may take this generational recipe to new and exciting heights. In order to add butter to your next loaf, simply prepare your traditional recipe as usual but leave off any topping during the initial baking time. Roughly 15 minutes before your meatloaf is ready for any final touches, remove the loaf from your oven and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the top. As the butter melts, feel free to use a pastry brush or knife to spread the butter evenly along the surface of your meatloaf. Then you can simply add your favorite sauce or topping and finish off this main dish in the oven to help meld the added ingredients for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

In order to get the most out of this rich and buttery addition, before baking and with a simple fork, poke a few holes directly into the top of your meatloaf. This way, when you add the suggested butter and sauce of your choice, the richness of both additions provides more flavor to the top and extends down throughout the loaf itself. Now that you know the benefits of adding butter, what other unexpected ways can you use it to spice up your traditional meatloaf recipe?

Other creative ways to jazz up classic meatloaf

Considering the fact that there are over 35 easy meatloaf recipes out there in the world, butter makes sense as a way to add a nuanced level of additional flavor. However, there's another exciting way to add this luscious spread to your next loaf. If you want to add even more flavor to your meatloaf, feel free to saute that extra butter in a skillet with some of your favorite herbs and fresh chopped garlic for a tasty upgrade. If you're looking to make butter the star of the show, you can also skip the traditional ketchup or barbecue sauce topping and make a flavorful sauce with just butter, olive oil, and some chicken or vegetable stock.

While your meatloaf cooks, you can cook down this flavorful sauce on your stovetop, adding whichever herbs you'd like, and then spoon the garlic butter sauce over your meatloaf when it's time to eat. Not only will this sauce impart a concentrated buttery flavor to your tastebuds, but it will keep your meatloaf tender and moist as well. The options are endless when it comes to adding butter to your next homemade meatloaf. You can even experiment by adding a bit of melted and cooled butter to your raw meat mixture. Though, for a surefire way to upgrade the texture and taste of your next dish, just a simple pat of butter is all you need to amp up this classic American dish.