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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Meatloaf

Through the years, meatloaf has gotten a really bad rap.  I personally love meatloaf and the leftover meatloaf sandwiches the next day.   Nothing like a big slice of meatloaf on white bread with bar b que sauce on the bread and maybe some pickle slices.  With that said my meatloaf is probably different from the ones you are use to.  There are lots of different ways to make them with different kinds of meat etc.  I like to make mine more barbquey.( I think I just made up a new word.  You are welcome to use it.)

Here's all the ingredients you will need to make this wonderful meatloaf.  A few of them I will discuss a little more at the end of the recipe.



Unfortunately this is not a precise recipe, it's more of an eyeball and personal taste.  I will give you ballpark measurements but you can add or subtract for your family.  To start with I had about a pound and a half of ground beef/chuck.  To that I added yellow mustard, ketchup, bar b que sauce (two kinds) a steak sauce, bread crumbs, one egg.  I have also made this with oatmeal so if you do not have bread crumbs you can use oatmeal and it taste the same.
To the previous ingredients I added one medium onion chopped and half a green bell pepper chopped.  These can be rough chopped. Again this is family preference.  You can make it without the bell pepper but it really needs the onion.
Mix all of these ingredients well.  I use a wooden spoon but a lot of people use their hands.  After you have mixed it well look at it and see if you need to add anything more. You can salt and pepper the mixture at any time.
I felt like it needed a little bit more bar b que sauce so I added a little more of the Dreamland sauce.
While you are mixing up everything preheat your oven to 350.  Then you will want to spray your pan with non stick spray.  I use a 9x13 pan.  Some people use a loaf pan.  I like to use the 9x13 to that half way through the cooking I can drain the grease off.  No matter how lean the meat is that you use it will still have a little grease.  I just like draining it a couple times during the cooking process.
Dump the mixture into the pan. Use the wooden spoon to smooth it out into a loaf/oval shape.
Try to make sure that it is the same thickness throughout so that it will cook evenly.
Then I like to top mine with good old Kraft bar b que sauce.  I know some people use ketchup or a ketchup brown sugar mixture but you can't go wrong with the bbq sauce.
All nice and covered.
I use a regular turkey baster to drain off the fat about 30-45 minutes into the cooking.  I usually do this whenever I cook any ground beef.  It is very easy to drain the fat with this.
The finished product nice and crusty.
And nothing goes better with meatloaf than homegrown corn and field peas.

Meatloaf Recipe
1 lb ground beef/chuck
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1/4 c bread crumb/oatmeal
1 T yellow mustard
2-3 T ketchup
1 egg
1/4 c Archies* steak sauce
1/4-1/2 c Dreamland** bbq sauce
1/2 Kraft bbq sauce + enough for the top
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Bake for about 45 minutes, then turn the temperature up to 375 for about another 15-20 minutes.  You don't have to do this but I like the outside to be a little crusty and this helps caramelize the bbq sauce. If you are running short on time you can make smaller loaves and they will cook in less time.
Like I said these are eyeball measurements you can add and subtract until it "looks" right.  When you are making casseroles and other dishes like that you don't have to be so precise in your measurements like you do when you bake.  My other recipes will be more accurate with the recipe but I just had to share one of our family favorite recipes for my opening blog.
* We love Archies Steak sauce.  It is less salty than Dale's and it adds a little zip to your recipes.  we use it in everything.  It is great on steaks and hamburgers. When I was living in Tuscaloosa there was a restaurant there called Archies that had great chargrilled chicken sandwiches and hamburgers.  This is their sauce.  The restaurant is not longer there but you can order the sauce on line. www.archies.net Check them out.
** Another Tuscaloosa staple is Dreamland.  I love this sauce.  It adds some more spice to things.  It is a little too runny to put on top but it is great inside the meatloaf.  You can pick up Dreamland sauce in some grocery stores, in the restaurants, and on line. You won't be disappointed in either of these sauces.  Maybe they will advertise on my site now that I am giving them some free advertising.
I hope you will try my meatloaf and I hope your family enjoys it was much as mine.
Enjoy your dinner.
Beth

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