Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those old reliable classic American recipes. I can remember when my mom made this for dinner when I was a kid, usually served with mashed potatoes and corn.

The recipe starts with ground beef. I typically use a 90% lean ground beef I buy in bulk. I have a favorite stainless steel bowl I use for mixing anything I make with ground beef.

Ground Beef and Bowl
Ground Beef and Bowl

I try to buy between 6 and 7 pounds of beef at a time when I can. I bring it home and use a kitchen scale to break it up into one-pound portions, or as close as I can get, depending on how much meat was in the pack I bought. Then I individually wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and store 3 or 4  together in 1-gallon storage bags. I squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze the bags until needed.

The other ingredients for this dish are onion and garlic powder, or fresh onion and garlic if you have them, salt and pepper, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, an egg, two slices of bread, and your favorite cheese.

Meatloaf Ingredients
Meatloaf Ingredients

First place the ground beef in a bowl and add all the spices, including soy and worcestershire sauce. I don’t have exact measurements for these as my mom never measured. I learned to sprinkle a generous amount of the powders, and a few splashes of the sauces into the mix.

Beef and Spices
Beef and Spices

Next add your egg. The next step is where my mom’s recipe diverges from standard ones. You can use bread crumbs if you like, but my mom used to use actual slices of bread. She would take two slices of bread, wet them with tap water, wring out most of the water, then break them up into pieces and mix them into the meat mixture.

You can optionally add other things you like to the loaf, such as bell peppers.

Beef Bread and Egg
Beef Bread and Egg

Mix everything together well (I use my hands for this), and shape into a loaf shape. You can use any sort of baking dish for this, I use a 2.5 quart casserole dish that has a lid.

Raw Meatloaf In Casserole
Raw Meatloaf In Casserole

Place your loaf into the dish, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Baked Meatloaf
Baked Meatloaf

Remove the loaf from the oven and drain off the excess fat. Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce over the loaf. I use 2 cups normally because my husband loves extra sauce with his meatloaf.

Meatloaf and Sauce
Meatloaf and Sauce

Then top with your favorite cheese. I use 4 slices of whatever cheese I have on hand, usually American or cheddar.

Cheese On Meatloaf
Cheese On Meatloaf

Cover your meatloaf, return it to the oven, and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Baked Meatloaf and Cheese
Baked Meatloaf and Cheese

Slice your meatloaf and serve with your favorite side dishes. I slice mine into eight slices, and we eat two slices per meal, so we usually get two meals out of one meatloaf. Spoon the sauce over the top and serve.

Meatloaf Meal
Meatloaf Meal

Meatloaf

1 pound of ground beef
2 slices of bread, wetted with water and partially wrung out (or bread crumbs)
1 egg
garlic and onion powder or fresh onion and garlic to taste
salt and pepper to taste
soy sauce and worcestershire sauce to taste
other vegetables as desired, such as peppers or mushrooms
1 cup of tomato sauce
4 slices of cheddar, American, or some other cheese

Mix all ingredients except for tomato sauce and cheese in a bowl. Shape into a loaf and place into a casserole or baking dish with a lid. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and pour off the excess fat. Pour tomato sauce over the top and cover with cheese slices. Cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 4-8.