Marriage meatloaf


The Amish Cook column generates a lot of reader mail, as you can imagine. Not nearly as much as it used to before everyone started emailing. One of the more rewarding letters arrived in the early 2000s from a woman in Ohio who was expressing her appreciation for The Amish Cook column over the years, in particular the late Elizabeth Coblentz’s meatloaf recipe.

In her words, this recipe “saved her marriage” as it was the one thing she could do for her husband that really brought them together, satisfied him, etc . The letter was so sincere and heartfelt, that it made me feel really good. We since christened this recipe “Marriage Meatloaf.” I wish I had saved the letter.

Geez, I remember the original post back in 2012 generated surprisingly heated discussion over meatloaf? One comment on the thread was: “If there truly is a woman out there whose husband is such a creep that a good meatloaf is the “one thing” that saved their marriage, I feel sorry for her.” And, predictably, that comment sparked a lot of discussion.

Looking back I think everyone was being too literal in the discussion. I think the original reader letter about the meatloaf was just a simple missive of appreciation and I doubt the meatloaf literally “saved her marriage.” Although, you know, if it did, then, great, I’m happy to have played a small role it in. So I have come to call this recipe “marriage meatloaf.” Hope it is as well-received in your home as it was in hers!

There are some recipes on that just keep people coming back and this meatloaf is one of them. Since originally posting this brown sugar meatloaf recipe back in 2012, it has gone on to become one of the most read recipes on the site.

The best part of this recipe — the brown sugar glaze — comes at the end. But you want to get it right from the start, by using the best, most lean ground beef you can get your hands on. This really is a classic meatloaf recipe that will become one of your family favorite recipes!

Mixing up the ground beef:

In a large bowl, mix up the onion and ground beef very well before you add the remaining ingredients to the meatloaf mixture. This is when you could add some other special seasonings of your choice, like garlic. Some Amish cooks — to stretch their beef supply — will use a meat blend, like ground turkey, ground pork, sausage, or venison in with the beef, a half-and-half ratio. Doing this also adds some good flavor. Another variation is to add some saltine cracker crumbs at this step.

The wonderful smell of this meatloaf lifts from the oven as bakes, a signal of the great flavor that awaits you.

Meatloaf ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

¾ cups quick oats uncooked

2 well-beaten eggs

¼ cup chopped onion

¾ cup tomato juice

2 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon pepper


2 tablespoon ketchup

2 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoon brown sugar


Combine all meatloaf ingredients thoroughly. Pack firmly into a loaf pan. Mix together sauce ingredients and spread over meatloaf before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427

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