I’m known by my family to be a very picky eater who generally does not like anything too mushy. Surprisingly, I LOVE meatloaf, but only when it is made a certain way – the way my mom and I make it.
Before I started cooking it my self, I used to order meatloaf in restaurants, but either it was too spicy, too goopy or too plain. I tried it at my mother-in-laws house, and while the texture was right, it was devoid of all flavor. I gave up on trying to find a new meat loaf I liked and decided to learn how to make my mother’s recipe.
Like stories, I revise recopies dozens of times before I’m happy with them. This meatloaf recipe is no exception. After lots of trial and error, I have turned my mom’s recipe into something I like just a little better.
Now, before I get into specifics, I will warn you that this recipe isn’t exactly conventional. I don’t properly measure when I make it, but that is half the fun with it. I can share my ingredients and process, then you can customize it to your own tastes – almost like a pick your own ending story.
1 to 1.5 lbs of ground beef, as lean as you can get it.
Half a roll of Ritz crackers, crushed
Half a packet of Liption beefy onion soup mix (dried onions, onion salt or powder, paprika, and garlic powder will get you a similar taste if you don’t gave the mix)
A squirt of Zesty Italian Dressing (Kraft, Wishbone and Market Basket brand all have as similar taste)
A squirt of Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
A few squirts of ketchup
- Mix the dry ingredients (crackers and soup mix) in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, BBQ, and salad dressing. Make an X across the surface of the mixture with the ketchup then add the ground beef.
- I mix it all together with two wooden spatulas. My mom prefers to use her hands. Either way works, just make sure it all gets mixed up evenly.
- Once its mixed, put it in a loaf pan. For best results, use an old fashioned one with a glass lid. Drizzle ketchup across the top of the load.
- Bake it for 45 minutes on 375 for 1.5 lbs or 350 for 1 lb of beef.
- Take the meat loaf out of the oven and drain the liquid fat. Put it back in without the lid and cook for at least another fifteen minutes. At this point, I check it with a meat thermometer, and if it isn’t well done, then I put it back in the oven until it reaches the correct internal temperature (at least 160 F http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html).
- Let it cool for a few minutes then serve with your favorite vegetables.
- If you have leftovers, you don’t need to worry about a separate container. Put the lid back on the glass jar and place it in your refrigerator.
©2016 Sara Codair