Do y’all know Nathalie Dupree? She’s like the queen of Southern cooking; the Southern Julia Child. So when a friend (the same friend who introduced me to Panera’s Steak & White Cheddar Panini and many other meals & recipes over the years – she has great taste!) mentioned that Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf was a family favorite, I couldn’t wait to try it. It’s actually been on my must make list for a while and I gotta say it’s just the perfect thing to make on a cold winter weekend.
I think Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf is great for this time of year, too, before the holidays when we’re all so busy. It’s pretty low-effort and makes a good-sized meatloaf. That’s perfect for leftovers (am I the only one who loves cold meatloaf sandwiches?) to toss out on a busy night later in the week. Or if your family is smaller, you could divide the recipe into two loaves and freeze one.
About Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf:
While Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf is a beautiful thing, the sauce really steals the show. It’s just a bit sweet, just a bit tangy and just right to drizzle over that meatloaf and wake up all the taste buds.
The meatloaf itself is just comfort food, not a lot of spices. But that means two things: It’s going to go over so well with a family that has a range of tastes and it’s the perfect foil for that sauce!
I like the texture of Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf, too. I think texture can be overlooked sometimes when we think about food. The top of the meatloaf gets so nicely browned and crunchy and the meatloaf itself is just the perfect, moist softness. As a matter of fact, be careful if you transfer it to a platter, it’s tender.
Making Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf:
One of the things I like a lot about this Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf is how easy it is to make. The onions are added raw, not sauteed, which saves a step; I worried a bit about them, whether they might not cook through and be too crunchy but they were perfect. I might have to stop sauteing onions in my other meatloaf recipes. So that brings us to the rest of the meatloaf making.
While this meatloaf is super easy to make, I like to make a few substitutions to suit what I usually have on hand. A combination of pork and beef always makes for a nice meatloaf, but I don’t usually have ground pork on hand. And it’s also not always available in the meat department of the store I go to, or if they have it, it’s frozen. I’ve made my own ground pork plenty of times by chunking up pork shoulder and pulsing it, a little at a time in my food processor, but honestly, I usually just substitute additional ground beef for the ground pork.
Nathalie also calls for five ounces of evaporated milk which is an odd amount. The recipe says 5 ounces is one can but I can’t recall seeing cans that small in my area. Rather than buying a standard can and then having a few ounces leftover, I’ve had really good results by just using plain old milk. Evaporated milk is a little richer in taste than plain old milk but I swear I just can’t tell the difference in the meatloaf.
Another bit of weirdness about Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf is that the tomato sauce in the recipe is 1 cup in the meatloaf and 1 cup in the sauce, or 16 ounces total. I have just been buying one can of tomato sauce (14.5 ounces) and using 1 cup in the meatloaf and the remainder in the sauce. It just makes the sauce slightly thicker and a little bit zippier in flavor and that can never be wrong!
Saving Money on Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf:
On a meatloaf like this, cooked in a large pan where it drains, I don’t mind using a less expensive ground beef. I think it keeps the meatloaf juicier. Feel free of course to use any percentage of ground beef you like. When buying ground beef, look for larger, family-sized packages on sale and divide into portions your family will use. Freeze it for when you need it. The ground beef I used in this recipe was $2.19 a pound, a great sales price in my neck of the woods.
Even though I made the substitutions in the recipe for convenience, using all ground beef shaved a little off the cost, too, and so did using plain milk instead of the evaporated milk, and of course, only using 1 can of tomato sauce instead of two is a savings.
For simple pantry ingredients like tomato sauce, look for sales and stock up. If you’re not sure what a great sale price is for any of your normal pantry items, keep a price book. You can keep a price book on the computer or in a notebook or binder. When you purchase an item, jot down when, where, and the price you bought the item at. There’s no need to keep track of every item you buy, especially if you buy it rarely, but it is worthwhile to keep track of ingredients you use often. That’s most likely where the majority of your food budget is going.
Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf
- 2 1⁄2 lbs ground beef
- 1 1⁄4 lbs ground pork (may substitute ground beef)1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 slices bread, made into crumbs
- 1⁄3 cup oatmeal
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk (may substitute milk)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the meatloaf, in a large bowl add the ground beef, pork, bread crumbs, oatmeal, and onion. Do not mix yet.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, mustard, tomato sauce, and milk. Pour over the meat mixture and gently mix all the ingredients together. Place on a large, rimmed sheet pan or on a roasting pan. Shape into a loaf. Bake for one hour, or until the temperature in the center of the loaf reaches 160 degrees F. Baste occasionally with the pan juices.
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup tomato sauce (or the remainder of the can)
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
To make the sauce, whisk all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour into serving container. Pour a little over the meatloaf and pass at the table to accompany meatloaf.
Note on sauce: the sauce is on the thinner side. If you’d like it a little thicker, simmer it for a few minutes.