Sunday, April 11, 2010


Meatloaf is comfort food. It takes me back to being a little girl sitting around the kitchen table with my sisters and my parents. It is also my 9 year old daughter's favorite food for dinner. She asks me weekly if I will make meatloaf for her, but I generally only make it once a month. Since ground beef was on sale last week, I picked up a 3.5 lb. package and used 2 lbs. to make meatloaf. The rest I browned with a bit of chopped onion and saved to make stroganoff later in the week. I generally use 80% lean ground beef to make meatloaf. I have used 90% or even 95% lean, but in my opinion it is not as flavorful and turns out a bit to dry. The downside to using 80% is that I have to drain the grease from the pan several times while baking, but I think this is worth it for the results. (In this case, Angus 80% lean ground beef was on sale for $1.97 per lb. The rest of the items are staples in my house. I estimate the total cost of this 2 lb. meatloaf at about $5 total. With an entire bag of frozen green beans and a bowl of mashed potatoes, this complete meal was about $6.50 and fed 5 with leftovers.)

I used the following:
2 lbs. ground beef (80% lean)
1 package onion soup mix
3/4 cup Itialian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 T spicy brown mustard
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs (slightly beaten)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl carefully. You want to thoroughly combine but also handle the meat as little as possible. Mixing with your hands is best, but it is a bit messy. Once combined, form into a loaf shape inside of a 4x9 loaf pan.

Place in oven to bake for approximately 1 hour. After about 40 minutes, pull out the pan and drain the grease as much as you can. Then place the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes, then drain again and back in again for 10 minutes, then drain again. At the one hour mark, the meat should be "almost" done and you have likely drained off quite a bit of grease. At this point, I drizzle some ketchup across the top of the loaf and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Some people like to use canned tomatoes to make a sauce, but my family prefers the simple drizzle of ketchup. Once out of the oven, let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

I like to serve with mashed potatoes and some sort of green vegetable.

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