I realize I have been writing a lot about cooking lately. I love it, it is my art, and I am very passionate about it. This comes from a long line of great cooks in my family (forgive my inability for humility). My grandmother was a Home Economics major and an incredible cook (Man I wish that would have been available for me and not entirely politically incorrect!). She still verbally spouts off recipes from memory when I visit her that she would be excited for me to try. My Mom is STELLAR in the kitchen, my Daddy has become very talented especially in the seafood variety, and my sister is an impeccable cook too, not to mention a fantastic restaurant reviewer (see southernpalate.blogspot.com). We are all way to committed to true ingredients and not cutting fat corners, this shows on our hips but also on our lips through the delectable smiles we have after tasting this food!
I have been promising Ben for some time now that I would make him my Mom's meatloaf recipe. He was probably getting tired of all that chicken pot pie I as making, not that he didn't like that too! So last night I took about 2 hours and whipped up the meatloaf. I had almost forgotten how incredible it was to grow up with this food. I share this with you today! You are welcome to make it in your own homes but remember, it's my Mama who deserves the credit!
Mama's Meatloaf or Baby, We Could Talk All Night But That Ain't Getting Us Nowhere
~ Edited slightly by Libby...
1 lb. lean ground beef (small meatloaf) 1.5 for medium, 2 lb. for large one. If you have fatty meat, it will cook down too much & be too greasy as well. The following ingredients are for the small meatloaf, adjust accordingly for medium & large. I usually make the large, split it in two cook both in two small ceramic or Pyrex bread pans & keep the second one for cold meatloaf sandwiches with mayo. . .mmmmm! Or you can freeze it for later.
If your meatloaf mix won't fit into your pan, but there isn't enough for a second one, make meatballs. Fry them or bake them on a cookie sheet until brown or freeze for later. Cover cooked meatballs with Campbell's mushroom soup. . . mmmmm! Add mushrooms, preferably fresh (but sauteed first). This is a good party dish when you have to take a hot hors d'oeuvre. But I digress. . .more meatloaf ingredients.
PREHEAT oven to 350.
1 medium onion
2 C. crushed crackers Ritz is good, I use Club crackers (rectangular buttery ones) generic is fine. An alternative is Quaker oats but NOT instant ones or the meatloaf will be too mushy
1-2 eggs I use one but if it seems dry or isn't sticking together, add another. I never use more than two. Or you can add 1/4 cup of milk.
Mix in these ingredients:
garlic powder to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Tony Chachere's to taste
Optional: oregano, basil, or any herb you like, or not. Parmesan cheese, Velvetta cheese, but not regular cheese, unless you want to melt it on top. It sort of curdles in the meat loaf & makes an unpleasant texture.
Bake in a bread pan in a 350 degree oven. Small about 1 - 1.5 hr. Cover top with two layers of foil. Last 20 min takes the foil off. Last 5-10 minutes add the sauce (see below).
If you make meatballs you can also sink them into this sauce for a hot hors d'oeuvre, instead of using the mushroom soup.
One cup ketchup, at least
At least 2 Tablespoons of regular yellow mustard; I use about a 1/4 cup. This is to taste but you want it to be tangy.
One cup brown sugar, to taste.
This sauce is really sweet as well as tangy. You should really make a double batch, pour half over the meatloaf in the last 10 minutes or so of cooking, then use the rest for dipping as you eat it or for the meatballs if you make them. Serve with a salad & if you dare, or want to splurge, mashed potatoes or baked potatoes or MAC AND CHEESE!.