Meatloaf, beetloaf, I haaaaaaa…. wait a moment, I don’t hate meatloaf! Funny thing is, we never grew up eating meatloaf. Occasionally there were stuffed peppers (-GAGGGG-) or gwumpkis (that other families made)… but my early childhood memories only had visions of other people’s horror on television or friends bemoaning the belly busting lump of meaty-doom. My husband (despite his step-father being a phenomenal cook) had an aversion to the stuff as well. Which is why when early into our marriage… when I got a wild urge to try to cook the stuff that he came home, and debated running for the hills when he heard what I was serving for dinner.
After much pleading (and me debating to sedate him), he finally submitted to trying out my meatloaf. I had scoured cookbooks, and not liking the recipes I saw played around with a few different ones (combining into one) along with the general idea it’s supposed to be easy, simple, and filling. This recipe is one I never think about, it’s just thrown together every time on the fly, but every time it has my family running happily to the table! Paul even asks me to make it more often, go figure!
Please take this as a base recipe, and take it as it is or experiment on your own. When I’m feeling super indulgent, I’ll wrap this meatloaf in bacon, and cook it till it’s good and crispy on top. Other times I’ll add in leftover Parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings. Around April Fool’s Day I’ve been known to cook mini loaves in cupcake tins, pop them out and put them in paper cups, and “pipe” on mashed potato “frosting” with Sweet Peas for “Sprinkles”. When Halloween rolls around, I hand sculpt it into a crude foot shape, complete with a stump that’s glazed with ketchup blood and onion strips cut into toenails that I add on after the baking process (hehee Feet Loaf, get it!?) The key is to have fun, feed your family, and enjoy all the delicious things and memories that you make every day of the year!
1 1/2 lbs ground round (sirloin, chuck, whatever ground beef or even meat! Sometimes I blend ground pork, beef, and turkey)
1 cup cooked rice (I like to use leftover rice, but you can make fresh rice for the recipe)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 or 3 shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
Preheat your oven to 375°
1. Throw all ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to moosh (<– Technical term!) it all together till it’s homogeneous. This is a GREAT thing to do when you need a little stress relief and it’s also a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen. (Just make sure hands are washed before, after, and there’s no taste testing by little chef’s until it’s cooked.)
2. To make your life easier, line a rimmed cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with PAM (or wipe down with olive oil). Loosely form a loaf shape (don’t pack it down or it will take forever to cook), and top with ketchup! (Or… ketchup mixed with sriracha if you have family members who like the spicy stuff!)
3. Pop that bad boy in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until juices run clear and it’s golden brown.
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