Country Living Series

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The humble meatloaf

A couple of weeks ago, the girls spent a few days with their grandparents in Coeur d'Alene (my folks come up for a couple months in the spring and fall, and we encourage the girls to spend as much time with them as possible). While they were gone, Don and I indulged in a rare treat: meatloaf.

That's right, the humble meatloaf is a rare treat for us. Don and I love meatloaf, but the girls hate it. Therefore we seldom have a chance to have it.


We have plenty of ground beef in the freezer from the last time we butchered, so it was nice to have an excuse to use some of it. Older Daughter refuses to eat ground beef in any form, so we tend to go through that staple very slowly.

I doubled the recipe, so I defrosted two packages.


The recipe calls for bread crumbs, but I always use oatmeal. Works just as well.


Milk... lots of onions...


...and a generous dollop of Worcestershire sauce.


Instead of ketchup, I use barbecue sauce for a bit more flavor.


Looks rather grim at this stage, doesn't it? The girls would use this photo to justify their dislike of the dish. But once it's mixed, it looks fine.


I used to make meatloaf in bread pans, but bread pans don't allow extra fat to drain off. So now I put foil on a cookie sheet and put a cooling rack over that...


...and pack the raw meatloaf on top. Some bits of meat sort of fall through, but not as much as you'd think (and I can always scrape it up).


Baked and ready to eat, with lots of goodies for leftovers and sandwiches.


Let's hear it for the humble meatloaf, comfort food extraordinaire!

44 comments:

  1. I just put one together, (Oatmeal and shallots, leftover from anther recipe.) And I have veggies
    ready for roasting. But I have to wait until the bread gets baked. I don't have lots of pans,
    so I have to schedule preparation and oven times.
    Looking at your pictures my taste buds are excited.

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  2. I love meatloaf also. I make it the same as you only I use a sweet onion which I chop up and brown to bring out the sweetness. It makes a difference. Of course then I have to serve it with baked potatoes and green beans.
    thanks, now I know what I'm making for dinner tonight!

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  3. Replies
    1. What's the matter, haven't you ever had meatload?

      LOL -- typo corrected.

      - Patrice

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  4. Patrice I make meatloaf and then can it into wide mouth pint jars. The folks at our church love it when I am in a hurry and bring meatloaf. It is awesome in the fact that it is meat long term storage and it is pre cooked so all you do is open a jar, warm it up and add some catsup or BBQ sauce on top. The instructions are in one of my older blog posts (the second oldest one).

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    Replies
    1. Excellent idea! Do you can the meatloaf raw or cooked? Can you provide a link?

      - Patrice

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    2. Here is the link to the article on my blog. It is toward the bottom of the article. And it is Raw Pack. You can be creative with your seasonings.
      http://flamingphoenixfamilyfarm.blogspot.com/2012/04/preserving-food-in-grid-down-scenario.html
      I process the pints for 90 minutes at 15lbs of pressure for my altitude which is just a hair over 1000 feet.

      Delete
  5. My daughter just loves home grown hamburger.
    She wrote on her face book that she is waiting for her knight with shining steers to come. She is at college and hates all institutional foods and dreams of home made mashed potatoes and home grown hamburger.
    andy

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  6. Patrice: Try adding 1-2 eggs, mushrooms, extra onion, shredded cheese, olives (black), to the oatmeal and worcestershire sauce. Bet the gorls will gobble it up. You have way too
    bland meatloaf for us East Coasters! :-) The eggs give the extra nourishment and cheese makes everything better.

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    Replies
    1. My recipe already calls for eggs and onions (along with other spices such as garlic, mustard powder, and a healthy dose of sage, yum). Mushrooms are a good idea, as is cheese. But olives? Gack. I'd puke. Can't stand 'em.

      However the girls still won't eat it because they don't like ground beef. Sad but true. That's why meatloaf is such a treat for Don and me.

      - Patrice

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  7. I typed girls wrong. Sorry! We make delicious meatloafs, salmon loaf, tuna loaf - pretty much all the same way. Try it - you will like it. :-)

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  8. Yum! We looooove meatloaf! Funny how good it is! We cover ours with 1 part brown sugar, 2 parts ketchup, and a bit of worcestershire sauce! Yummy!

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  9. Sorry Patrice. I read your pic by pic recipe only, not the hand written one! Well, I have a son-in-law who is far more fussy! Try the shredded cheese and either fresh or canned
    mushrooms. Yummy!

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  10. Mmm meatloaf. Anyone who doesn't like meatloaf just ain't right. ;)

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  11. Patrice,

    Have you ever placed green peppers in your meatloaf in the past? Or how about green chiles, omg....delicious.

    Just a thought, the pictures and recipe looks really good. I'm going to have to borrow the idea of using the cooling rack and the cookie sheet.

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    Replies
    1. Green peppers... eeeewwwww. When I was in the service, they put green peppers in everything; meatloaf, eggs, rice, ice cream... got sick of 'em.

      Delete
  12. Lose the onion and your daughters will LOVE it! Trust me on that one.

    ONIONS = Satan's veg.

    Tim

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    Replies
    1. Yikes, I must be a child of the devil. I adore onions.

      - Patrice

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    2. Only if you vote Democrat too

      Tim

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  13. My boys love my meatloaf and so do I. Growing up my Dad and sister wouldn't touch it, so like you and Don we had to wait till they weren't around to make it. These days I have to make at least 3 loaves so I will actually have some leftovers for sandwiches! I'll have to try the oatmeal - great idea.

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  14. My boys love my meatloaf and so do I. Growing up my Dad and sister wouldn't touch it, so like you and Don we had to wait till they weren't around to make it. These days I have to make at least 3 loaves so I will actually have some leftovers for sandwiches! I'll have to try the oatmeal - great idea.

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  15. My sons and I love meatloaf. My sister and Dad hated it, so like you and Don, Mom and I had to wait till they were going to make it. These days I have to make at least 3 loaves to maybe get leftovers for sandwiches! Four adult sons tend to demolish Mom's homemade meatloaf!

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  16. Patrice, Looks awesome, What about a couple slices of bacon on the top when you cook it? Don

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  17. Meatloaf at our house is a "refrigerator" recipe. That is, whatever is in the fridge goes into the oatmeal, so no meatloaf has been the same for the last 30 years. I save bread loaf ends or use dry oatmeal -or leftover cooked oatmeal works just as well - leftover cooked rice, or even mashed potatoes (although potatoes make it mushier). If I have mushroom soup leftover, I add that and delete some of the other liquid. Likewise with veggies; sometimes I add a smidgen of leftover greenbeans I want to get rid of -or corn. Anyway, it is always delicious, because cooks who have always cooked from scratch can reasonably rely on what different combinations and flavors will taste like in the finished product. But kids -they never seem to like meatloaf!

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  18. My Mom made the best meatloaf. It was solid and very sliceable for sandwiches. She laid a row of hard boiled eggs down the middle, made for very pretty slices. Always served with green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. Yummmm!
    Leslie

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  19. You are such a much nicer mom than I was. I grew up with my mother catering to my dad's and brothers likes and dislikes in food and I swore I would never do it. I made meatloaf, stir fry, whatever I wanted. My husband will eat anything, but my daughter knew she could always make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if she didn't like what was being served for dinner. She also had the option of cooking the dinner and then could make what she liked. She ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly. :)

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  20. Looks very similar to our recipe. We love meatloaf. Yours looks so good. My husband does all the cooking in our house, so I will give him the baking sheet hint.

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  21. I love meatLOAF, but I've never seen meat...uh...pile before. Not criticizing mind you, I realize the shape has nothing to do with anything at all, and it now strikes me that it would be a lot quicker and easier. It's just that I didn't think it was humanly possible to RESIST shaping it into some sort of even, perfect shape, er loaf. :)

    Jeff - Tucson

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  22. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)November 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Ground beef, 1 egg, salt, pepper, diced onions and celery, oatmeal, potato flakes, parsley, garlic powder and 2 really good dollops of catsup or BBQ sauce. If you do use a loaf pan, put two celery stalks in the bottom of the pan and place the loaf on top of them. This cuts down on the amount of drippings on the bottom of the loaf. We had it for dinner last night - yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Celery stalks on the bottom -- now that's a spiffy idea. I'll have to try it.

      - Patrice

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  23. We love meatloaf - Comfort food for sure! We place slices of old bread in 9x13 pan, shape loaf and put right over bread slices, bread soaks up the grease peel right off when done baking and the barn cats get a treat when cool. LOVE your site!!!

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  24. UMM, meatloaf! My family has never liked it. I grew up on it. Now the only time I get it, is if I order it out. :(. And leftover.....sandwiches with a slice of cheese and some ketchup! Oh my!

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  25. We don't use any bread or oats in ours, but we do use lots of garlic and onion and wrap it in bacon, then bake it on a bed of shredded cabbage and thinly sliced gold potatoes. It's a one dish wonder. I love it the first night, but it's actually better sliced cold the next day for breakfast.

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  26. We love meatloaf also. I put two slices of bread the heals if i have any to soak up the grease from the meatloaf. It works geat.

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  27. I make our meatloaf in a similar fashion, but using four lbs. of ground beef (with five kids,that leaves no leftovers!). Yum yum...we do enjoy meatloaf in my house :)

    I wanted to say how much I am enjoying your Simplicity Primer, Patrice. Each entry is a little jewel of wisdom and encouragement. Your book is so well-rounded because it suggests paring down not just the material things that tend to clutter our lives so, but also the emotional ones. I am in constant need of a reminder to fix my eyes on what truly matters: God, family, and friendships. Thank you for helping me along :)

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    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you. You're very kind.

      - Patrice

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  28. Love your site Patrice! I have the exact opposite problem-too little ground beef. Each year we get a whole beef custom butchered by my in-laws and each year we have the same problem-we run out of ground beef first. For my large family we could easily use 8-10 lbs per week if I don't stretch it out. Any good ideas for the rest of the cuts? I'd love some suggestions and new recipes!
    Audrey in AZ

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  29. Patrice, I've been reading your blog for several months and finally signed in so I could comment.

    My stepkids (17 & 19) will NOT eat meatloaf, so when I make it only hubby and I eat it. I make mine very much the same way you make yours. I love how you created a rack to lift it up so it's not swimming in grease and I'm going to do that next time.

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  30. Yum! Your recipe is so similar to my family recipe. Meatloaf is one of my lifetime favorite meals. And leftover meatloaf sandwiches with Miracle Whip salad dressing...double yum!

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  31. My wife was thinking of making liver this week, maybe I'll suggest meatloaf instead

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  32. Meatloaf was always a family favorite and I know I can get my son to come home if I offer to make it for him. I tend to be a refrigerator cook like one of your readers but I always add some ground sausage, egg and whatever. To me, nothing is better than a cold meatloaf sandwhich with a glass of milk. True copmfort food.

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  33. I use a similar recipe to yours to make meat loaf. I took a very large one to a potluck several years ago and had a lot of people take that in preference to fancier main dishes. I commented to a friend (a very well-off doctor) that there looked like enough was left for a meat loaf sandwich. A few minutes later I observed him eating a meat loaf sandwich!

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