Meatloaf Dreams

Basic Meatloaf Recipe

For those of you who have never made a meatloaf before, or failed miserably in the past, here is a new and improved recipe that will guide the novice through the process of putting together a wonderful meatloaf that will make any Grandma proud.  For further guidance, read two previous articles on the subject:  THE MAGNIFICENT MEATLOAF and POTATO-STUFFED MEATLOAF.  But, try this recipe first.  It will initiate you to the wonderful world of baking meatloaf.  Also, MEATLOAF SEASONING spice blend will take the guesswork out of flavoring your creation.

Mixed, shaped & in the pan

Basic Meatloaf Recipe

For the meatloaf:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound ground pork or white meat turkey

4 teaspoons MEATLOAF SEASONING 

1 teaspoon salt

 ½ cup bread crumbs, rice grits, cracker meal, oatmeal or torn, stale bread

1 egg, slightly beaten

¼ cup tomato ketchup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup finely chopped onions

½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350° fahrenheit, placing rack in middle of oven.

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and work everything well with your hands.

Heat a skillet with a little oil and fry a small bit of the meatloaf mixture.  After a brief cooldown, taste this sample and add more salt and seasoning blend if necessary, working it in very well.

In the mixing bowl, work the meat into a ball; then, place in a loaf pan or any other baking pan large enough to accommodate a 2 pound meatloaf.  Pat to firm and shape.

Squeeze a stream of ketchup across top of meatloaf in a zig-zag fashion.  It is not necessary to cover completely.  Set aside.

Add a drizzle of ketchup

For the sauce:

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped green bell pepper

1 medium carrot, chopped

1  15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon MEATLOAF SEASONING

Scatter chopped vegetables over and around meatloaf.

Stir MEATLOAF SEASONING into tomato sauce and pour over meatloaf.

Cover with a tight lid, or seal in foil.  Place in oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave cover on for 20 minutes before serving.

Yield:  8-10 servings

A scattering of chopped vegetables boosts flavor

*Instead of tomato sauce, use prepared spaghetti sauce or barbeque sauce on top of the meatloaf.

*If the called-for vegetables are not present in your pantry, any one or all of them may be omitted; however, they help produce a moist meatloaf.

*This recipe can be doubled and baked in a pan measuring about    11” X 15”.  Be sure to seal tightly with foil or a tight lid to prevent drying out.  Add another 15 minutes to the baking time.

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