More years ago than I’m going to tell you, when I was in college, I semi-invented “Harvey’s Meatloaf”, which is considered by some the best meatloaf in the history of the world. I had 3 male roommates and it was my turn to make dinner. Meatloaf seemed easy, just toss the ingredients into a bowl, mix them up, and then pour the result into a pan and cook. Easy. Calling home was not an option. Cooking was not on my mom’s list of core competences. Not going to even go into her Three Mile Island Cabbage Soup we suffered through every Saturday afternoon.
But I digress. Once I knew what I was making, it was time to figure out what to put in my meatloaf. All day, I asked everyone I knew the key ingredient in their family’s meatloaf recipe. What you see below are the results with one exception, my contribution. Two items on the list, rice and tomato soup seemed like a natural for the then 20 year old me. So I went straight to the Campbell’s Soup section, where I made one of the greatest discoveries of my lifetime, Campbell’s Old Fashioned Tomato Rice Soup. Two key meatloaf ingredients in one can! But wait, there’s more. There is something about the way Campbell’s Old Fashioned Tomato Rice Soup, with too much Worcestershire Sauce and too much ketchup cuts tenderizes meat that will send you to heaven after the first bite.
My diet has changed a lot in recent years due to restrictions from my type 2 diabetes, probably caused partly from eating too many things like meatloaf. Gluten free now, I’m ashamed to admit. I don’t know what’s in gluten, but evidently it’s delicious. But every once in a while I can’t resist experiencing the gastronomic joys of my life’s single greatest achievement.
So if you live in the same world as I, where men are men, and women are too, follow Harvey’s Meatloaf Cooking and Eating Instructions carefully, and enjoy.
- Lean Hamburger (you can substitute turkey burger, but not when you’re entertaining company)
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 eggs (holds it together for sandwiches)
- Italian Bread Crumbs
- Heinz Ketchup (no cheap imitations)
- Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
- Campbell’s Old Fashioned Tomato Rice Soup
Take a really big bowl and dump all the ingredients into it. Put more onions, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce than you think is necessary. Get your hands in the bowl and mix it up good until all of the breadcrumbs are evenly mixed in the hamburger. Then when you are done, mix in more ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Don’t be afraid of the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. The meatloaf won’t taste like you used too much. When you are done the second time, mold your work of art into a pan. Take your elbow and turn the water facet on so that you can wash your hands. For best results, mix the ingredients the day before or the morning before you cook your meatloaf. Bake meatloaf at 375° for 60 to 75 minutes. It is also best to make too much meatloaf; it makes great sandwiches and it actually tastes better the next day.
Serve with mashed potatoes, peas, and Pillsbury crescent rolls. Each person should have their own individual bottle of Heinz ketchup next to their plate for easy access. Eat as much as you can and then watch some TV. After between 30 minutes to an hour of watching TV, head back into the dining room and eat some more meatloaf. This recipe cannot be shared. Only individuals, personally selected by Harvey may be bequeathed the secrets of Harvey’s Meatloaf. You are among the chosen few.
R. Harvey Bravman