Sarasota's Classic Meatloaf

"My all time favorite. I have my Recipe #399886, my Recipe #403644 and I also make my Mexican Meatloaf Stuffed Pepper Rings. But still this is my favorite. I have 5 secrets which I think really make the difference. 1) I saute my vegetables first; 2) I use fresh bread soaked in milk, NO dried bread crumbs for me; 3) Fresh herbs if possible; 4) A mix of beef, pork and veal; and 4) Do NOT over mix your meat. This was a recipe we served in our restaurant as our signature dish, and it always sold out. Served with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and pan seared green beans in a balsamic butter. NOTE: Sometimes I will take this recipe and make 2 smaller loafs. Just free formed, but that way I eat one and slice the other and freeze for meatloaf sandwiches or for another dinner. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 45mins
8-10 Thick Slices




  • Vegetables -- First. I just used my mini food processor to fine chop the vegetables - saves tons of time, but you can chop them by hand if you want. In a small saucepan melt the butter and saute the onion, celery, carrot and garlic on medium heat. Don't cook them too fast, you want them to sweat slowly for about 5 minutes until they are tender.
  • Base -- Then transfer the vegetables to a large bowl .Add in the egg, steak sauce, worcestershire, oregano, thyme, parsley, marjoram or dried oregano (both will well, I just love the fresh marjoram if you have it), salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • Bread -- In a flat pan or dish, add the milk and soak each slice of bread just for a few seconds and then squeeze out most of the milk. Add the bread slices breaking them up into the bowl. Save the milk, don't throw it out. Mix the bread crumbs inches.
  • Meat -- Quick Note: You can use all beef for this, but I really prefer the mix. You could also, substitute turkey for the veal if you want, but - Beef, Veal and Pork are my favorites.
  • Now, add in the meat. You can use a spoon, but honestly, I use my hands to mix everything together. You don't want to over mix as the meat can get tough.
  • Loaf -- I prefer to free form my loaf rather than using a loaf pan, but if you want, you can use a loaf pan. If using a pan, I line it with parchment paper, but I really prefer to form mine on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This way when you glaze the meat loaf you can glaze the sides as well. This is the way we always did it in the restaurant. As mentioned above, you can make 2 smaller loafs vs 1 loaf, the cooking time is all that changes.
  • Glaze -- In a small bowl, mix the ketchup, brown sugar and cider vinegar together.
  • Cook -- Middle shelf in a 350 degree oven. Depending on on thick you make your loaf, it should take between 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. I make mine fairly thick so it takes just about 1 hr 15 minute Bake for about 40-45 minutes and then glaze. Cook another 10-15 min and glaze one more time. Once done, remove and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve -- Just slice and enjoy! As I said, sour cream and chive potatoes and pan seared green beans are my favorite with this dish.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I'm not going to rate this as I had to use all ground beef. Just a comment - this was very chunky after it was cooked, not a smooth texture like I had anticipated. The flavor was okay, but not what I had expected with the extra veggies and seasonings. After looking at a few other recipes we have tried, I think we prefer more bread crumbs in our meatloaf. Not to our tastes, but I have a lot of your recipes saved and I know they're good ones. Will try another ; )
  2. This is a very good recipe. Excellent taste! She has named it very well as I was about to put, very classic meatloaf, then realized thats the name! This meatloaf holds together well for slicing. Will definately make again. I didn't have the veal, so used ground beef and ground pork. Thank you for sharing Sarasotacook!


<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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