I've had many meatloaf disasters. I don't know why. Meatloaf in a pan, free form meatloaf, ground sirloin meatloaf, I've even tried turkey meatloaf, all of them disappointing. I've been on an Alton Brown kick lately and we've had this recipe, once already this month, and I've got another one in the oven as I type. Forewarning, a good size food processor helps, which, I don't happen to have, so I've had to grind up my stuff in batches. Yes, it's good enough for me not to even have to dig down deep and find the patience for that. Oh, and this makes a lot of meatloaf. It could feed a couple for a week, I bet they would make awesome sandwiches.
Filipinos have a version of meatloaf called embutido which I love and my mom used to make. They roll theirs up like cookie logs, wrap them up in foil, and steam them (I think). Some of the things they mix up in their embutido are raisins and whole hard boiled eggs. When sliced, it makes for a succulent presentation.
I added a few things to Mr. Brown's recipe. The first time, I added just a bit too many croutons so I had to add an extra egg. This time, I didn't have enough meat, and dumped in the croutons before even thinking about it, so I had to do the same thing. I also added a pan of hot water while I baked the bad boy, so it wouldn't dry out too bad. I omitted the cumin in my half of the ketchup sauce, just because, well I think it kind of smells like B.O. but, the hubby, loved the cumin.
This happens to be a free form meatloaf, you can use a loaf pan if you like. I wasn't too concerned with the cracks, because it is just that good.