March 2012
1 hour of actual work
6 hours start to finish
Serves 10

Types: Meat.
Cuisines: American, Canadian, and British.
Seasons: Winter and Autumn.
Events: Every Day and Thanksgiving.
Meals: Entrée.

Meatloaf is one of the most ubiquitous dishes found throughout the modern world. Nearly every country has it's own variation, and in North America, it's position is high atop the meat lovers 'best-of' list. It's almost a religion of sorts in some parts of the continent...

List of International Variations of Meatloaf

The meatloaf has European origins; meatloaf of minced meat was mentioned in the famous Roman cookery collection Apcius as early as the 5th century. Meatloaf is a traditional German and Belgian dish, and it is a cousin to the Dutch meatball.

American meatloaf has its origins in scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since Colonial times. However, meatloaf in the contemporary American sense did not appear in cookbooks until the late 14th century.

There isn't much science behind meatloaf, just deliciousness. Make the meal, and enjoy every bite of it knowing there's no magic behind the scenes.

The Recipe

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What’s more fun, inviting and unique than tiny pieces of meatloaf individually decorated just for you? The meatloaf recipe that follows below is the result of countless hours of testing, tasting and tweaking.

So this month we’re re-inventing a family favorite, Meatloaf, and we’re proving once and for all that meatloaf has a rightful place at your dinner table. This simple, multi-step meatloaf recipe is a cinch to whip up and showcases that less, is truly more. No need for ketchup on this meatloaf, and the family will be licking their forks clean before you have a chance to sit down.

Meatloaf never finds it’s way onto our home’s menu, and though folks love this comfort food, we’ve never had a meatloaf recipe that blew our socks off….until now. We’ve finally perfected the ultimate in comfort food, the ultimate meatloaf recipe.

Meatloaf is typically a boring midweek meal, smothered in tasteless tomato sauce, served with some sort of overcooked veggie. We decided to add some flair and finesse to meatloaf by giving it new life. You’ll find our Whiskey smoked meatloaf topped with velvety Maple Whiskey potatoes and smothered in a rich and unctuous beef jus will leave you fully satisfied.


  • We’ve presented the recipe as a cupcake, but the directions below are for full loaves. You can make the cupcakes using a cupcake pan, and simply bake the cupcakes for approximately 20 minutes at 400F, or until the meat registers an internal temperature of 160F.
  • Don’t be put off by the use of oxtail for the gravy/jus. Once you give the oxtail a try, you will never make gravy with anything else. Be sure to find the freshest oxtail you can, ask your local butcher.

The Formula



  • 2lbs lean ground beef
  • 2lbs lean ground pork
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 dash Worcestershire's sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 sliced garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots

Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup whiskey/bourbon

Oxtail Jus (Gravy)

  • 2lb oxtail pieces
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 dates
  • 1 tsp bovril beef concentrate (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 sprig of rosemary



  1. Mix the meats, salt, pepper, garlic and shallots together in a bowl. Take care to mix the meat as little as possible. If you have a meat grinder, simply run the roughly mixed meats through first to mix the meats well.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, worcestershire sauce, cream, vinegar together.
  3. Combine the two bowls of ingredients, and add breadcrumbs until you get a meaty blob that can hold it’s shape. You will need at most ½ cup of crumbs, but may not need them all.
  4. Place the meat in loaf pan and shape it by pressing into the pan. This yields two meatloaves. You can cook the meat loaf in the pan, or remove it as we did to allow the mesquite smoke to penetrate throughout. If you aren’t smoking this on a grill, don’t worry about removing the meat from the pans for the cooking phase.
  5. To bake the meatloaf you will need the oven, or bbq, on at 350F for about 60 minutes. Don’t worry if the oven/bbq runs hot, the ground meat will handle the high heat very well. Get a meat thermometer, and once it read 160F, pull the meatloaves off the heat.
  6. Set the loaves of meat aside.

Mashed Potatoes

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes, place in a pot and cover with enough water to cover the potatoes by 1” of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot with the butter, milk. Mash the potates until light, fluffy and all lumps are removed.
  3. Mix in the maple syrup and whiskey reduction. To make the reduction, place both liquids in a shallow sauce pan over medium heat. Boil gently until the mixture has reduced in volume by half.

Oxtail Jus

  1. Place the oxtail and quartered onion in a large pot, and cover with enough water to come above the oxtail pieces by 1”
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let simmer for 90 minutes over a medium-low heat
  3. Add the dates, salt and rosemary and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Top up the water so it remains above the oxtail
  4. Remove the rosemary and simmer a further 60 minutes. Add beef concentrate and remove from heat. Add salt.

The Assembly

  1. Place the meatloaf on a flat dish, and slather the mashed potatoes onto the meatloaf. Add at least 2" of potatoes to the top, the more the merrier! Feel free to pipe the potatoes using a pastry bag if you feel like being adventurous.
  2. Optional: Dust the potatoes with bread crumbs, and drizzle 1/4 cup of butter (halved) to each meatloaf. Place under a broiler for 5 minutes to brown and crisp the potato topping.
  3. When serving, slice into 1.5" thick slices, and cover generously with the warmed oxtail jus.

What to do now?

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Table Talk about "Smoked Meatloaf topped with Maple-Whiskey whipped Mashed Potatoes"

  1. Mark says:

    Hi Guys
    Made this dish for my in-laws a month back… went over very well. Looked very fancy, but was really easy to do. Introducing the smoke on my Weber kettle worked really well and added a subtle, tasty complexity to the dish.
    It was really good, for just as much work as a normal meatloaf dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

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