Yes, that’s right. I did it. I used a Meat Loaf song for a post title about, you guessed it, meatloaf.
I know. I am shameless.
But I can’t help it. Puns and cheesy plays on words and using song lyrics for any reason at all – these are the things I cannot resist.
As well as an excuse to eat cheesy potatoes. And because I refuse to go to the trouble of making mashed potatoes for our small family (or, really, let’s be honest here, any size family), cheesy potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to meatloaf.
Last week when my parents came over for dinner, we had a larger crowd than normal. Because Mark was there. Because he now works nights and is at home in the evenings. [More on that later.]
And so I altered my normal meatloaf recipe.
Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! (What is that even from? Huh. Just looked it up, and it’s from Lost in Space. Which I have never seen. WHY is that phrase even in my brain, much less on the top of my tongue for a blog post about meatloaf?)
Normally, I use one pound of ground beef for my meatloaf. If I’m really on top of things, I’ll thaw out two pounds and make 24 mini meatloaves to freeze for Annalyn. But I only use one pound for the main meatloaf.
That’s key, if you hadn’t picked up on it yet.
Last week, I made a 1 ½-pound meatloaf. Well, just shy of 1 ½ pounds, because I used maybe 1/10 of a pound for one mini loaf.
Let me just cut to the chase: the meatloaf did not get cooked right. It didn’t look pink, but my piece tasted pink. Do you know what I mean? It just didn’t taste right. Everyone else ate it. And said it was fine. But I just don’t know.
Maybe their pieces were fine. After all, the time I gave my dad a loaf of moldy bread and a tub of crumb-filled butter, he did tell me. Reluctantly. But he told me.
Still. My piece of meatloaf was so mushy, so weird, so gross that I didn’t even eat it! (And that’s saying a lot. Just so you know.)
I wish I’d taken a picture of it. Kind of. I mean, you might have been grossed out, too. So I guess what I’m saying is that I wish I had a picture of my good meatloaf.
Instead, I’m going to share my recipe with you. (“Finally! She gets to her point!” you say. “Oh, hush,” I say.)
It’s a combination of my mom’s recipe and Mark’s mom’s recipe, and normally, it turns out really well. I’m quite fond of it, and so is Mark. And it’s just about the easiest thing to make.
Unless you get greedy and use too much meat.
1 lb. ground beef
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestshire sauce
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup brown sugar
Mix the first five ingredients together. Or, fold them together. However you do things at your house. Me? I mix them all up in the loaf pan I cook the meatloaf in, because I’m
lazy low maintenance like that. Smush (ahem, press) the meat mixture into a loaf pan; cover with wax paper. Microwave on high for about 9 minutes. If it looks done, maybe just give it another minute. To be safe.
While it’s cooking (becoming paradise by the microwave light, of course), mix the ketchup and brown sugar together. This may give you WAY too much sauce, and that’s because all these amounts are guesses. (Ooooh, snuck that in there, didn’t I?) Except the one pound of hamburger, and I think we’ve been over that.
After the meatloaf is cooked through (feel free to cut it open if you are now paranoid like I am), pour the sauce on top and nuke it for another 1-2 minutes.
Enjoy with cheesy potatoes and green beans. And muffins, if you’re really on top of things. (And by “muffins,” of course I mean the “just add water to the mix” kind.)
Oh yes, one last thing: Because you don’t have the opportunity to really drain the meat used in this dish, it can be quite greasy. And that is gross. So here are two tricks, one from me and one from my mom.
First, when you check the meatloaf after the first nuking, fold up a couple paper towels, place them on top of the uncovered meatloaf, and use your biggest spatula to drain that puppy over the sink. Feel free – I always do – to do this again after the second nuking but before adding the sauce.
Second (and this one is my mom’s tip, which I forget every time, mainly because I’m
lazy low maintenance and mix the ingredients in my loaf pan), you can place the bottom of your butter dish, upside down, in the bottom of your loaf pan. That lifts the meatloaf enough to let the grease fall to the bottom, where nobody has to see it. Except your dishwasher. My mom said she reminds herself to do this by actually storing the butter dish in the loaf pan. So smart.
Too bad I didn’t serve her a good meatloaf in exchange for that tip, huh?
Next time. Next time I will, I’m just sure of it.
Now, everyone makes meatloaf differently. My mother-in-law occasionally made some sort of magical mozzarella meatloaf roll, for example. I can’t imagine that’s going to happen in our house anytime soon, but you never know. (I wonder how I’d fit the butter dish in with that . . . ?)
How do you make meatloaf?