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Monday, December 30, 2013

This Is By Far The Best Meatloaf Ever!

Of course, I'm prejudiced because it's my mother's recipe. But I'm not alone in feeling this way, many of my friends and family have agreed with me that this is the best recipe for meatloaf ever. The funny thing is that many young people today turn up their nose at meatloaf.

If it isn't from a fast food restaurant, then they don't seem to want it. Chicken nuggets, pizza, cheeseburgers, tacos and maybe Subway if they're feeling on the healthy side is what kids eat today. But us old-timers remember what good food really tastes like. So here goes...

In a large mixing bowl, take 1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef, 1/2 pound of mild sausage, 1/2 cup of finely chopped white onions, 3 eggs, a half a package of Ritz crackers crushed finely, one can of Hunts garlic and herb spaghetti sauce (leaving a little bit at the bottom to spread on top of the loaf), and salt and pepper to taste (usually about a teaspoon or so of each, no more than a tablespoon for sure). You can also add about a half cup of chopped bell pepper to this recipe if you like.

After mixing well (I used plastic gloves and hand mix thoroughly), pour this mixture into a 9x12 or 9x13 baking pan and shape into a loaf, using your fingers to create a canal or crevice around the edges of the pan all around. This helps the fat to drain as it cooks and it can be drained during the cooking process by tipping the pan slightly or by spooning it out.

Bake for approximately one hour at 350 degrees or until meat is thoroughly cooked in the center. When you drain the fat at the half way point of cooking, you can top the loaf with remaining sauce and spread like frosting over the loaf. To ad garnish and flavor, sprinkle a little parsley on top of the sauce. One variation that I have used for this recipe is to substitute two cans of cream of mushroom soup instead of the spaghetti sauce and it is amazing also.

A wonderful side dish for this entree is Au Gratin potatoes. For this recipe, you need to peel, wash and thinly slice about 6-8 medium sized potatoes. Cook them in salted, boiling water for about 20 minutes until tender. When done, move the potatoes to a 9x12 baking pan and top with one cup of sour cream, spreading evenly. Cover with American or Cheddar cheese, chopped onions or onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees or until cheese is bubbly and very light brown in places.

Another great vegetable side dish with this meal is green bean casserole using green beans, cream of mushroom soup and a can of French's Fried Onions. This simple dish calls for mixing and heating and its done.

Now for dessert...

Break up in little squares, some store bought brownies, top with chocolate ice cream and sliced strawberries. Your family will not believe that this meal only takes about an hour and a half to prepare and serve.

More menu planner ideas can be found here...

Menu Planner, Meal Ideas

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