Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My quest for the perfect meatloaf. . .

. . . .for the last 1.5-2yrs I've been looking for a decent thick old fashioned traditional meatloaf.   I've been trying all sorts of concoctions - 90% losers, 10% winners.  I'm not saying the losers are inedible, they're just not something I'd make again.

Well, this last weekend K requested Shepard's Pie.  So not only did I get out 3lbs of hamburger to thaw, but he got out 3lbs.   Great....6lbs of meat, what is a girl to do?!?!?

Made Shepard's Pie - my version of it.  Browned 1lb w/onions to use later for taco/nacho meat.  Took the last 2lbs and decided to make Meatloaf.  Once again knowing the last throw together didn't go over well I looked to the internet to find the perfect meatloaf.

Lo' and behold I found Paul Deen's recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/old-fashioned-meat-loaf-aka-basic-meatloaf-recipe/index.html

Trust me....oatmeal in a meatloaf recipe???  Are you serious???  Yes, she is.  And yes it was awesome.  This recipe is sooooo simple and it's a good basic meatloaf - one that you can easily add, enhance, whatever. 

Of course I made this following the recipe to a T - just as my mother taught me.  However, here are my notes/thoughts on the final product:
1.  Note Paula's recipe is for only 1lb of hamburger - and only calls for a small can of diced tomatos.  If you use a 14-16oz can w/1lb it'll be mushy.
2.  I probably used a little too much green peper for my taste, and thinking I should toss in some red pepper next time.
3.  Thinking next time I need to add a little more salt & pepper, and add garlic powder
4.  80/20 hamburger is preferred.....so if you use a leaner meat you might need to cut back on the oatmeal.  Otherwise your meatloaf will be too dense.
5.  Added a little (1 Tbsp) Worchestershire sauce to the topping and a little more mustard than required since my boys love mustard.   (FWIW - the topping is awesome!!!)
6.  Definitely can submstitute a can of rotel for the regular diced tomatos
7.  I cooked my meatloaf in a 9x9 cake pan and it took about 1hr 15min.
8.  My kids actually liked this one - however, may have to make extra of the sauce/topping the next time.

So overall I was impressed and will be making this again.

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