Part of what we love about our trips to the Disney Parks is the ability to feel like you’ve been transported to another world or time. Even the restaurants have the ability to accomplish this.
One of the best is the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s a place where you feel like you’re in your childhood home (well, if you grew up in the 50’s, that is) complete with a TV at the kitchen table and “mom” reminding you to “keep your elbows off of the table.”
However, what really makes you flash back to the good old days of Frankie Avalon and “I Love Lucy”, is their phenomenal, comfort food filled menu. We’ll be touching on many of these Disney Dishes in the future but, today, we’re going to start with a classic; Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf.
I mean, you can’t find a better example of a throwback, family-style of a meal than that!
So let’s pull up a step-stool to the counter and give mom a hand with dinner!
As the title of Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf implies, it is a traditional, “comfort food” recipe. With that being the case, all of the ingredients are items you’d normally find around the house and in your local store. The only real difference to this version from many of your more “standard” meatloaf recipes is that it adds ground pork along with the usual ground beef. You can make this dish without it. However, I would suggest you keep it in because it really adds an extra level of richness to the dish.
- If you have a difficult time finding ground pork in your grocery store, talk to the butcher. They may be able to point you in the right direction. Also, even if they don’t normally stock ground pork, they will often help you by grinding your favorite cut for you. Just ask!
Just like mom would make
Let’s face it. Mom (or, I guess, Cousin Megan) had enough on her hands trying to take care and clean up after all of us every day. Sometimes, she just needed to cook up a dinner that was quite a bit less labor intensive but just as hearty and delicious as everything else she made. That is definitely this Disney Dish. While it takes a little while to cook, the actual prep time does not take long at all.
To get things started, we’ll lead off with a little vegetable chopping. You want to make sure that you dice the Onion, Green and Red Peppers to a relatively small size. That way they can be more evenly distributed throughout the meatloaf.
Next, add the Chopped Vegetables, Eggs and Worcestershire Sauce to a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Then, add the Seasoned Bread Crumbs, Salt and Pepper and combine.
Mom isn’t the only one who can be “overworked”
As you may have noticed, we haven’t added our ground meats to the party, yet. There’s a reason for that. If you over mix your meatloaf mixture, it can become super dense. You know those jokes you used to hear about “so and so’s” meatloaf being like a brick? That’s because it was “overworked”. That’s why we combine all of the other ingredients first and then add the meats.
Add the Ground Beef and Pork to the Vegetable, Egg and Bread Crumb mixture and blend just until the it all just comes together. You can do this with a spoon but I find the easiest, and most efficient, way to accomplishing this, is by digging right in with your own two hands. Wear gloves if you need to but it’s the best way to get the mixture fully combined without “overworking” it.
- Pro Tip: It can be hard to tell if you’ve properly seasoned your meatloaf mixture. I mean, what are you supposed to do when a recipe says “to taste” but, to “taste” it, you have to eat raw meat? Well, here’s a way around that. Place a saute pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Take a small spoonful of your meatloaf mixture and place it in the pan, cooking it on both sides like a teeny, tiny burger. Once it’s cooked, you can taste your mixture and adjust as necessary.
Now that our version of Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf mixture is together, it’s time to get our loaf on! If you have a loaf pan, thoroughly oil the inside. Then fill it, evenly, with the meatloaf mixture. Don’t worry if you don’t have a loaf pan. You can also just form a “loaf” shape on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- If the glaze is your favorite part of Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf, you may want to consider cooking it on a baking pan even if you do own a loaf pan. That will give you more surface space to add that much more of the sweet goodness that is the glaze.
Place your meatloaf in a 350ºF oven and roast for 1 hour.
Glaze glorious glaze
While our version of Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf is roasting away, it’s time to put together our glaze. Again, mom (or Cousin Megan) didn’t have a lot of time on her hands. However, she wanted to make sure she had a great sauce for her meatloaf. So this part of the recipe, again, is pretty simple. Just whisk together the Ketchup, Brown Sugar, Dijon Mustard and Worcestershire Sauce until combined and smooth.
- Even though this glaze is a simple one, it is tasty. It does tend to be a little on the sweet side, however. If you like a little more zip in your glaze, feel free to add a dash of Sriracha, Frank’s, Cholula or whatever hot sauce you prefer. You could also chop up a small Chipotle Pepper and blend it in if you want to add a more Southwestern feel to this dish. Make it how your like it!
Once our meatloaf has roasted for an hour, it’s time to add the glaze. Brush it evenly over the exposed area of the meatloaf and return to the 350ºF oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for, at least, 10 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately with your choice of sides and a drizzle of leftover glaze.
This recipe for Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf is just plain “down-home” good! It is just the right balance of meat and filler. You know it’s there, but it doesn’t feel like you’re just eating “meaty bread”. The addition of the ground pork adds a well-rounded richness to each bite and the vegetables bring a nice level of sweetness and a slight texture change within the meat itself. Meanwhile, the glaze provides a little acid and tang to help cut the fat within the dish. However, I found all the glaze eventually felt a little too sweet. As I discussed earlier, I suggest adding a little spice to the glaze to give it a little more of a sweet and savory balance. Again, it all depends on your preference.
The bottom line is, it’s a wonderful and comforting Disney Dish that mom (and Cousin Megan) would be proud of.
Oh, and don’t forget to keep your elbows off of the table!
Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf from 50’s Prime Time Cafe
Makes Approximately 8 – 2″ Meatloaf Slices
- 2 lbs – Ground Beef
- 1 lb – Ground Pork
- 1/2 cup – Yellow Onion – Small Dice
- 1/4 cup – Green Bell Pepper – Small Dice
- 1/4 cup – Red Bell Pepper – Small Dice
- 4 – Eggs
- 2 tbls – Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup – Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper – To Taste
For the Glaze
- 1/2 cup – Ketchup
- 1 tsp – Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbls – Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp – Worcestershire Sauce
For the Meatloaf
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Add the diced Yellow Onion, Green and Red Bell Peppers with the Eggs and Worcestershire Sauce in a large bowl and mix until combined
- Next, add the Seasoned Bread Crumbs, Salt and Pepper to the same bowl and mix until combined
- Place the Ground Beef and Pork in the bowl and combine, by hand, with the Vegetable, Egg and Bread Crumb mixture until it just comes together. Be careful not to “overwork” the meatloaf mixture
- Oil the sides of a large loaf and or line a baking pan with parchment paper
- Place the Meatloaf Mixture into the loaf pan or form a “loaf-like” shape with it in the center of the baking pan
- Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour at 350ºF
For the Glaze
- Add the Ketchup, Dijon Mustard, Brown Sugar and Worcestershire Sauce to a small bowl
- Whisk together until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth
- Once the Meatloaf has roasted for 1 hour, remove it from the oven and evenly spread the Glaze on the exposed surface
- Return the glazed Meatloaf to the oven and roast for an additional 10 minutes at 350ºF
- Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes
- Slice and serve immediately with a drizzle of the leftover Glaze
Be sure to check out our other Disney Dishes