Comfort food is rarely thought of as luxurious as a nice filet or ribeye. Instead, we lean on words like "homey" and "simple" to describe its appeal. Take meatloaf, for example — it's a dish that ruffles up childhood memories for so many people. Maybe for them, like me, it was a weeknight staple growing up. It was uncomplicated and easy, which is why it now sits in the category of comfort food for me as an adult. But why can't meatloaf get an upgrade? Particularly if that upgrade is so easy to pull off?
That upgrade is butter. And, yes, I guarantee that it will make your favorite meatloaf that much more special. Think about that fancy steak that's often finished with a pat of butter on top to make it that much more rich and decadent. Apply that same technique to meatloaf and you've struck gold.
The process is simple. Reach for your standard meatloaf recipe and prepare it as usual. About 10 to 15 minutes before it's done, take it out of the oven and top it with a healthy pat of unsalted butter, about a tablespoon or so. It will immediately sizzle and melt all over the loaf — feel free to use a spoon or even a butter knife to make sure the melted butter reaches all corners of the meatloaf. Then spread a thin layer of ketchup or barbecue sauce on top, if that's your thing, and stick it back in the oven for the remaining 10 to 15 minutes until the top is bubbling and the loaf registers at least 155°F on an instant-read thermometer. The result is a more moist and rich meatloaf than any you've had before.