When I was a kid, my mom made meatloaf rather regularly. My dad is what you might call a connoisseur of meatloaf. He orders it out more than anyone I have ever known. He loves it. In fact, if you ever are hanging out with my dad, ask him about the meatloaf at Dan Marino's restaurant. He loves to tell that story! But me, I'm not such a big fan of meatloaf. At least, not the typical way my mom used make it with onions, carrots and ketchup. So when I was out on my own I decided that I would make meatloaf with flavors that I like.
I start with onions and garlic, chopped and sauteed in a little olive oil. I find that sauteing first gives the onions and garlic a better flavor than putting them in the meatloaf raw.
I generally use ground turkey for my meatloaf with a few links of turkey Italian sausage thrown in (squeezed out of the casings), but you can use ground beef. I think adding the sausage gives it a little firmer texture and a nice flavor. Hmmm... my meat picture looks a little obscene!
To the meat, I add about 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs (do not use Panko in this, it changes the texture and not in a good way), one egg, the sauteed onions and garlic, two Tablespoons of dried parsley or fresh if you've got it. And one Tablespoon Italian seasoning. Then I add about 1/4 cup of Dijon. Now, I use the mild Hellman's Dijonnaise. If you're using straight up Dijon mustard, I would probably go with less since it's a bit stronger in flavor.
After mixing it all together, and use your hands, a spoon just isn't going to do the job right, plop the whole thing into a loaf pan and shape to fit. Then sprinkle the top with more bread crumbs. I think Panko would be OK here.
Bake for at least 45 minutes. The top should be browned nicely and the sides pulling away from the pan. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before you slice it. It's great with any side dishes. My darling husband does not like mashed potatoes (can you believe that!?) so I don't make them often. Today we had it with mixed vegetables and pierogi.