'The Pioneer Woman': Ree Drummond Shares the Secret to Perfect Meatloaf

Ree Drummond shared her secret for perfect meatloaf every time and the solution is quite simple. The Pioneer Woman star has a few meatloaf recipes that earn rave reviews, so Drummond’s trick definitely works.

Ree Drummond reveals the secret to tasty meatloaf

During a 2017 Q&A book signing session for her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It, Drummond was asked about the secret to good meatloaf and she had the perfect solution so it doesn’t turn out dry or mushy.

“I struggle to make the perfect meatloaf,” a fan told her. “It always ends up dense and too solid. Any suggestions?”

“Absolutely,” Drummond answered. “So I think the secret to good meatloaf or meatballs or anything in that category is to add plenty of bread filler. When I make meatloaf, I literally use white Wonder Bread. And I know that sounds crazy but it has such an amazing, oh I don’t know — Wonder Bread taste to it. But it works really well for meatloaf.”

She continued, “I think the biggest mistake you can make is not adding enough bread, relative to the amount of meat that you use. So really throw it in there! I think for two and a half pounds of ground beef, I probably use eight good slices of white bread.”

Drummond said this easy trick makes all the difference. “I make an Italian meatloaf where I use more crusty ciabatta or other Italian bread,” she shared. “But just really keep adding bread … it shouldn’t be too dense with meat because that’s what makes it shrink and become hard. You still want it to be nice and soft when you slice through it.”

Ree Drummond’s favorite meatloaf recipe is wrapped in bacon

Drummond wrote a recipe blog post on The Pioneer Woman website in 2010 for her ‘favorite meatloaf.’ She kicked things off by sharing her thoughts on why meatloaf gets a bad rap.

“I’ve decided that it’s actually the word ‘loaf’ that has contributed the most to meatloaf being such a maligned food,” she explained, telling her readers to pretend the word wasn’t part of the name. “Focus, instead, on the simplicity of the ingredients: a beautiful meat mixture bound together with bread and eggs and made delicious with parmesan and seasonings,” she wrote.

“Focus, instead, on the fact that the meat mixture is wrapped lovingly in a blanket of thin, flavorful bacon, and topped with a tangy-sweet sauce that pulls it all together in perfect harmony,” the Food Network host added.

How to make ‘The Pioneer Woman’ star’s meatloaf recipe

Drummond’s meatloaf is so easy to make. She starts by putting six slices of white bread in a bowl and pouring milk over the bread so it soaks into the bread.

In another bowl, she combines ground beef, parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, eggs, the milk-soaked bread, salt, pepper, and garlic. Drummond kneads the mixture together and places it on the top of a broiler pan, forming the meat into a loaf shape. Then she places thin bacon slices over the top, tucking them under the meatloaf.

Drummond combines a mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and tabasco sauce and pours a third of the sauce on the meatloaf then bakes it in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes.

She puts more sauce on the meatloaf and continues baking it for another 15 minutes. “And that’s it! I know it doesn’t look it, but what you have here is a comfort food like no other — a scrumptious delight through and through,” she wrote on her blog.

To serve, The Pioneer Woman star said to slice the meatloaf and provide sauce on the side for dipping.

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