In which we hunt down beloved recipes on behalf of F&W readers.

By Anna Painter
Updated June 09, 2017
Schmidt's German Meatloaf
Credit: ©  Schmidt’s Restaurant

Last November, Food & Wine reader Barbara Haggerty was en route to St. Louis, Missouri, when she stopped in Columbus, Ohio for the night. A search for a German restaurant led Haggerty to Schmidt's, where she ordered the family-owned restaurant's famous meatloaf. The dish, Haggerty recalls, "had the flavor and consistency of the loaf my grandmother used to make. It was classic comfort food." Haggerty reached out to us here at Food & Wine and asked if we could get her the recipe. We were only too happy to oblige!

This simple and deeply comforting meatloaf has been on the restaurant's menu since 1972. Developed by Betty Jane Schmidt, wife of the restaurant's founder, George, the meat loaf continues to be one of Schmidt's bestsellers. The secret ingredient in this pork-and-beef loaf is applesauce, which lends both moisture and a gentle sweetness. The cooks at Schmidt's use crushed seasoned croutons as a binder, but we found that plain dry breadcrumbs work well, too.

Schmidt's Meat Loaf

Active 15 min; Total 1 hr 15 min

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1 ¼ cups)

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 ½ tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. ground white pepper

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 ¼ lb. ground pork

12 oz. ground chuck

Mashed potatoes and gravy, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on each of the long sides.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the applesauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, kosher and garlic salts, black and white peppers, sugar and mustard; stir to form a paste. Add the pork and beef and, using your hands, gently mix until well blended. Scrape the meatloaf mixture into the prepared pan and press the mixture down slightly to remove any air pockets.
  3. Bake until the meatloaf is lightly browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°, about 1 hour. Cool the meat loaf on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the pan, cut into thick slices, and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Make Ahead:

The meat loaf can be refrigerated for 4 days. Gently reheat before serving.