Classic Meatloaf

I’ve heard it said that your taste buds change every seven years. Maybe that’s true.

I’ve never liked meatloaf. Not at age 7, not at 14, not at 21, and not at 28. Last week (at age 32) Jasper was working late, so I went out to mom & dad’s to join them for dinner. Sitting on the table, obviously for dinner, was a much dreaded meatloaf. It looked disgusting sitting there. All meaty. With some sort of ketchup concoction poured over the top. Blagh! Ugh! Gagh! “Who eats this?”, I thought. I had not had a thing to eat all day, so, nearly famished, I loaded up on vegetables and cut the tiniest little portion of meatloaf you’ve ever seen; just to be polite.

I sat there at the table eyeing the mealy little slice. Finally, I just broke down and decided to try a bite. It was okay. I ate another bite. Hum. Maybe I was just hungry? So I ate another. It was really quite good! I got a second spoonful. It was more than okay, it was great! Garlicy, oniony, beefy, and with a slightly tangy and sweet oven-browned sauce over the top… Yum! I was ashamed of all the years I’d been missing out on this old-fashioned little dinner favorite. I called my mom for the recipe and made it again last night.

The moral of this story is; Meatloaf is swell. It took me a few years to learn this fact. But, here I am and it’s good to know.

Classic Meatloaf

I half this recipe, and it’s plenty for 4.

for meatloaf:

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

3 whole eggs, slightly beaten

couple shakes of worcestershire sauce

1 & 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers, crushed

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce, Hunts

1 can diced tomatoes, Hunts

for topping:

1 & 1/2 cups ketchup

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tbs. mustard, optional

1 tsp. liquid smoke, optional

1 tsp. chili powder, optional

Mix all ingredients for the meatloaf, wait to mix topping ingredients, in a large bowl.

Spread into a large (13×9 or larger) baking dish.

Mix all topping ingredients thoroughly (you can use the same bowl). Pour over top of the meat mixture.

Bake at 400° for 1 hour.

* A note about the topping. This is my MaMa’s recipe for barbeque sauce. She keeps it mixed up in her refrigerator  in a mason jar. Our family loves it! My mom makes it different ways for meatloaf, sometimes with only ketchup & brown sugar (that’ s how I like it), and sometimes she adds the mustard, smoke, & chili powder. You can’t go wrong. Both ways are good.

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2 Responses to “Classic Meatloaf”

  1. betsy Says:

    I also used to dread meatloaf and would cut my piece from the edge of the pan so it would be the crunchy part instead of the middle and mushy. I was reading a cookbook they had for sale in the faculty lounge, and it recommended putting the meatloaf in your muffin pan. They are so good like this and have enough “done” sides to have a little “doneness” with each bite! What we don’t eat, I freeze, and Dane thinks they are meatballs, so we all win!!!

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