We have a great meatloaf recipe for you today and before you moan and groan let me first say something … this meatloaf recipe with this honey whiskey sugar glaze will rock your world!
I don’t normally write this much on one of my posts, but I truly feel meatloaf gets a bad wrap. It is such a warm, soul comforting, stick to your ribs kind of meal. Unfortunately most people either overcook it, use the wrong kind of meat, don’t season it enough or all of the above for a subpar result.
If I do nothing else for you by creating, running, breathing, eating and sleeping this website, it’s to help you become a BETTER cook, a more EMPOWERED cook and that starts with understanding ingredients and how they affect your recipe.
So let’s get started ….
WHAT TYPE OF MEAT
There is a lot of banter surrounding the ‘best’ type of meat to use when making a meatloaf. Supermarkets sell a premade mix of ground chuck, sirloin, pork in a certain ratio. And while I have tried that several times I never got that meaty meatloaf flavor that I was looking for.
The meatloaf either turned out too mushy or dry or it was just a hot mess.
I have finally landed on just all plain beef. I find it just gives the best texture and flavor. But here’s the deal. It can’t be 95% or 90% lean. It is very difficult to keep the meatloaf moist. It needs some fat in there so the ratio I choose is 80-20.
TO SAUTE OR NOT SAUTE
Meatloaf needs flavor and a lot of it. I put in anywhere from ½ – 1 cup of onions, at least a few cloves of garlic and my latest addition is grated carrot. A mom can never go wrong adding some veggies as long as the kids don’t ever discover those little orange flecks.
Raw onions taste like raw onions. My solution is to saute the veggies in a little olive oil until they are soft and translucent. That way they flavor the meatloaf without anyone crunching on a raw onion or piece of garlic.
Now here is the part that is going to separate your meatloaf from the rest of the meatloaves out there in the world.
I do NOT use milk. I use beef broth.
If you want your meatloaf to have a really deep meaty, satisfying and long lasting flavor then ditch the milk. This step alone will catapult you and your meatloaf from ‘yeah it was good Mom’ to ‘Holy Mother of Pearl that was good!’
THE COOKING TIME
Cooking between 2 and 2 ½ lbs of meat takes time, the temperature it’s cooked at is just as important as all the steps you’ve taken so far. If the oven is too hot you risk the outside getting burned while the inside isn’t cooked through. I cook mine at 350 and I always use a meat thermometer. They are very inexpensive and can mount on the outside of the oven or on the counter.
Once it reaches between 155° – 160°I turn the oven off, open the door and let it rest for another 5 minutes before taking it out.
For this recipe (using 2 ½ lbs of meat) can take up to 1 ½ hours or longer.
The glaze on top of meatloaf is truly magical. It gets all warm and caramelized and there is just enough to coat the ends of the slice you are eating. This glaze is not necessary but oh so worth it!
What we have here is:
- ¼ cup black coffee,
- ¼ cup honey whiskey,
- ¼ cup brown sugar,
- ½ cup ketchup,
- ⅛ cup soy,
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
It all gets simmered down into a beautifully thick glaze which is brushed on top of the meatloaf the last 20 minutes it bakes.
And what you end up with is a perfectly cooked meatloaf, perfectly seasoned and a glaze that will leave the ketchup in the fridge all by itself.
BEST EVER Meatloaf with a Brown Sugar Whiskey Glaze
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- ½ Cup Onion, diced
- 2–3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley
- 1 Egg, beaten
- ½ cup Beef Stock
- ½ Cup Ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Cup Breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
BROWN SUGAR GLAZE:
- ¼ Cup Black Coffee,
- ¼ Cup Honey Whiskey,
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar,
- ½ Cup Ketchup
- ⅛ Cup Tamari (or organic soy sauce),
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
FOR THE MEATLOAF:
- Add 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small pan and saute the onion until translucent (approx. 4 min). Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds to 1 min. Set aside to cool
- In a large bowl, add the egg, broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper and whisk
- Add the ground beef, onions and breadcrumbs
- Using your hands, mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined
- Place in a large glass baking dish and bake for 1 ½ hours or until internal temp is 155-160
FOR THE GLAZE:
- Combine the coffee, whiskey, Tamari (or organic soy sauce) and sugar in a small saucepan over med/low heat – reduce to half (takes approx. 9-10 min)
- Add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for approx. 10 minutes until thick and glossy
I made this to go on our meatloaf tonight, the meatloaf itself was store-made (it was given to us) so I wasn’t sure what the flavor would be like. I didn’t have honey whiskey, so I used regular whiskey and added a spoon full of spicy honey. This was so yummy, my husband who doesn’t like meatloaf even enjoyed it.
So far so good! I think
Im blind— I can’t find where to add in the parsley !
Just saw the recipe…got the meatloaf in the pan for tomorrow. Making the glaze tonight with some Wild Turkey Honey. It’s like Tequila, might make your clothes fall off. Lol!! Keep some on hand for a cough every now and then (cough,cough).i live in Bourbon country,some are good some aren’t!
This meatloaf recipe is the best I have ever made and tasted. While it is delicious when served hot, it is also delicious to have on a sandwich. My husband and son request that I make this meatloaf once a week as they say it is the tastiest meatloaf they have eaten. I was wondering why, after dinner, both my husband and son were very quiet……..I put in an extra amount of whiskey into the meatloaf…….they fell asleep…….contented. Thank you for sharing an excellent meatloaf recipe.
HA !!! I love your comment Sandra. Thanks 😀
Besides making a “fattie” on the smoker, this is the first meatloaf I’ve made and….WOW! Surprised my wife with this and it is one of the best meatloafs we’ve ever had! The glaze is awesome! You had me at whiskey.. 🙂 BTW, I just used good old Jack Daniels #7 that I had on hand it was great! The brown sugar gives enough sweetness. Thinking the glaze would really kick up a burger as well! Keep up the great recipes!
Thanks Matt ! It was a long shot with this recipe b/c not a lot of people having whiskey hanging around the house but it really is good if you have a little extra to spare. Thanks for leaving a comment, very appreciated.
We absolutely love this recipe!! Thanks for sharing! I just want to say we enjoy a lot of the recipes on your site and look forward to trying new recipes often. You haven’t let us down yet so we keep coming back 🙂 Keep up the great work!
thank you Rhonda !!!! 🙂
I can’t wait to try your meatloaf!!!
I LOVE to cook and share recipes! I have been home after a knee surgery for 4 weeks.
I have been looking at your recipes & LOVE that you don’t use processed ingredients!!!
I try to use the most healthy ingredients I can & make everything from scratch.
I truly enjoy your recipes and stories
why thank you Regina! I hope you like the meatloaf. Let me know how it turns out!
Call me stupid – but what is honey whiskey? Can I use plain old whiskey?
no you’re not stupid. Jack Daniels makes it along with Evan Williams and one other co I believe. As a person who really does NOT like the taste of whiskey I can tell you the addition of honey makes it really good. it doesn’t have that hard core liquor taste. I guess you can use regular (or none at all) and add some honey to it.
All I could find at my grocery store was Jim Beam Honey Bourbon, which is a different type of whiskey. The meatloaf was still fantastic! I made 2 1/2# loaf and less 2 slices that went to my 87 year old mom, it was gone in one sitting! Mom loved it too!
I’m actually glad you spent so much time talking about your tips and tricks. My meatloaf is good, but I want it to be great. I will be using your advice…fingers crossed!
thanks Kate … I hope it turns out good too! Let me know how it goes and if I can help 🙂
I always use chicken stock as part of my panade in meatloaf and meatballs. I even use it as a base for my gravy when I make Texas chili. I have tried beef broth for all of the above and found it made them too beefy..in an unpleasant way. The chicken broth doesn’t make it taste like chicken. It comes out rich and meaty, but with a more complex flavor profile, like when you do a pork/beef/veal meatloaf.
Your meatloaf recipe isn’t far off my standard recipe. The whiskey glaze sounds really intriguing and I’ve gotta give it a try.
I can’t wait to make this! One question, though — I don’t buy alcohol, so can’t use the honey whiskey. Can you think of a good substitute, or should I just leave it out and increase the other ingredients by a little bit?
You can leave it out Susan – let me know how it goes for other readers too! 🙂