Meatloaf

My mom makes pretty darn good meatloaf, and I don’t just say that because I have to. My former mother-in-law made decent meatloaf – although she tossed in a can of Campbell’s vegetable soup and the first time I ever had it, I freaked out a bit when I looked down for my next bite and there was a tiny “A” made of pasta. Then I got the weird texture of the tiny carrots and peas that I also was not expecting. The flavour was fine, the vegetables that were not onions were rather unexpected, though. 🙂 I miss her, she was a lovely lady.

I skipped making meatloaf for a whole lot of years – I’m not entirely sure why. I do enjoy a next day, leftover meatloaf sandwich (and I know I’m not the only one).

When I did finally make meatloaf again, I made it like my mom, and still basically do. I do occasionally add a sauce over the top or, like today, cheese in the middle, or both. I sometimes add a layer of onion jam over the top – it’s amazing. I have tried making it with breadcrumbs or bread soaked in milk but I don’t actually understand why – it’s fine, but I’m not sure the reasoning…the milk adds no flavour, so perhaps the lactic acid helps tenderize things? Regardless, this is my version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef (I sometimes do 1lb beef and 1lb ground pork)
  • ½ cup oatmeal or bread crumbs
  • ½ cup minced onion (I used an entire red onion that fit in my palm)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2-3 cloves, minced
  • 2 TB dried parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TB Worcestershire sauce (I love this stuff)
  • 1/2-1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Montreal Steak Spice, if you have it
  • enough slices of cheese to cover the top of the loaf (if you want to add cheese in the middle)
  • Sauce: ½ cup ketchup ¼ cup brown sugar 4 TB vinegar

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Put everything into a bowl big enough to hold it all and mix it. Nothing worse than everything in the bowl and no room to mix – food everywhere.

Put half of the mixture into your large loaf pan or all of it if you aren’t adding cheese in the middle. Pack it down firmly but not too hard. If you are adding cheese, lay out the slices to cover the meat, then put the rest of the meat mixture on the top.

If you are adding the sauce, do so then put into the oven for at least 45 minutes. If you aren’t adding the sauce, put it into the oven and let it bake until done (the juices will be clear).

If you don’t have a loaf pan, get a baking sheet or a casserole dish. Put the meat into the middle of the pan or dish and form into a loaf shape (oval is easiest, but rectangular is achievable). Pat it into shape and bake like regular.

When it’s done cooking, take it out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. This allows everything to settle down and stay together when you cut it.

Serve with some mashed potatoes because why wouldn’t you? Add vegetables of your choice and enjoy.

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