Lamb Meatloaf. (Photo by: Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Why You Should Never Skip The Starchy Ingredient For Meatloaf
Meatloaf is undoubtedly made better if you use high-quality ground meat, but one ingredient that's almost as important as the meat is the starch. Whether you're making an all-American ketchup meatloaf or a variant like Filipino meatloaf with relish and raisins, this is why you should never skimp on the starchy filler in your meat mixture.
Starch binds the meat and other ingredients together and absorbs excess liquid that evaporates or drains out during the cooking process, creating a tender meatloaf that holds together instead of a dry and crumbly one. For best results, use 15% to 25% starch in your meat mixture, since too much starch can make the meatloaf mushy.
Most meatloaf recipes call for starch in the form of breadcrumbs or chunks of fresh bread soaked in milk (which is called a "panade"), but dried oats, potato flakes, boxed stuffing mix, and cooked rice are also effective. Meatloaf was invented to use up food scraps and prevent waste, so don't be afraid to get thrifty.