I've never really been a big fan of meatloaf. It's something that you make when you can't think of anything else for dinner, and it's something that you make when you are down to the dregs in your cupboard and all that's in the freezer is a package of hamburger and a tray of ice cubes. It certainly isn't something that I look forward to eating as in 'Yay, meatloaf for dinner tonight!' and in order to eat it I usually have to cover it in ketchup.
But, last night I made a meatloaf that was actually good and didn't need to be smothered in ketchup. I found the recipe in one of those little cookbooks that you see at the checkout stand at Walmart or the grocery store, they are put out by Taste of Home with recipes that people send in. Recipes that don't use weird ingredients that you can only get by mail order, recipes that real people might cook up in their kitchen from ingredients that you can easily find right there in your cupboard.
And this meatloaf was good. Really good. And easy. And best of all, cheap.
Here's the recipe. It was originally intended for the microwave, but I like my meatloaf baked so that it gets brown and a little crunchy around the edges, and microwaved meatloaf just sounds icky, so I baked this along with our butternut squash. Butternut squash instead of the mashed potatoes that this meatloaf really calls for, but mashed potatoes that I am no longer allowed to eat, so...you can make yours with mashed potatoes.
So, first you mix this together in a large bowl.
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp prepared mustard- you know, the yellow stuff you put on your hot dogs.
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp onion soup mix- has anyone ever actually made onion soup from this miracle in a box soup mix or do we just make onion dip and season our hamburgers with it?
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper- or do like I did and just dump some salt and pepper in without measuring.
Then after you mix all that up, mix in 1 lb of hamburger. I buy the leanest hamburger I can find because who needs all that extra fat, right?
Then put all that into your meatloaf pan or whatever- I always spray the pan with cooking spray first and it makes the cleanup a whole lot easier.
Stick it in the oven at whatever temp you are baking your butternut squash at (375) or whatever temp you usually bake your meatloaf at for about 1/2 hour or so.
Then you add some sweet and sour glaze.
Mix this up in a little bowl.
3 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup sugar- I used splenda
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar- I didn't have any cider vinegar so I just used white vinegar
Actually I doubled the recipe and saved half of it just in case the meatloaf needed some extra sauce but it didn't so just follow the recipe up there.
Spread the sauce on top of the partially cooked meatloaf and stick it back in the oven for another 1/2 hour or so.
The sweet and sour glaze adds just the right amount of flavor and tang to the meatloaf without overpowering it, and it was REALLY GOOD. AND CHEAP.
I would have taken a picture but we ate it all.