Recipe of the Month: Meatloaf

Agh!  I am so sorry, readers! I admit I have failed a bit and got a little behind with the recipes. To make matters worse, I don’t have pictures to share. I’ve been busy working on other exciting things for Grant Creek and let things slip a little. I’m going to justify it by saying this month was obviously taken up by Thanksgiving, so all of you have been preoccupied with other delicious foods.

I can’t believe it’s already almost Christmas! It’s definitely starting to feel like it outside. Cold weather automatically demands comfort foods and I got to thinking, what exactly constitutes a comfort food? Obviously that depends on who you are and where you’re from, I suppose. I often think of carb-loaded, cheesy, creamy, and fried foods – all with a side of bread. That could be because I grew up in the south (Technically, I don’t think Oklahoma is considered the south) but I’ve never heard a salad described as a comfort food by literally anyone. Wikipedia describes it as something that provides nostalgia – whether specific to a person or culture.

It’s not on my personal comfort food list but I know it is for many and it’s taking things down a notch from the hectic Thanksgiving cooking. This month’s recipe is meatloaf. While I have always found the name to be very unappetizing (a loaf of meat?), I can promise you this meatloaf is one of the best. It was shared with me by my wonderful mother-in-law who is allowing me to share it with all of you!

I was just talking to a co-worker this morning about the differences in recipes between my family and in-laws. I have noticed they make a lot of their foods sweeter. Deviled eggs, beans and cornbread, meatloaf. They all have a sweeter touch on my husband’s side than what I grew up with, but don’t let that fool you. I’m definitely the sweeter one. OK, just kidding. Anyway, I don’t always agree this is an improvement, but it without a doubt makes this meatloaf a winner. Instead of brown gravy or simple tomato sauce on top we’re going to make a sweet sauce using ketchup and brown sugar – sounds weird, tastes delicious. Here’s what you’ll need!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • onion – chopped
  • green bell pepper – chopped
  • 1 sleeve of saltine crackers – crushed (fun fact: you can use crushed pork rinds for this step for a lower carb alternative!)
  • egg
  • squirt of mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Get Cooking:

  • Mix the beef, chopped onion, bell pepper, crushed crackers, egg, salt and pepper until well combined.
  • Form into a loaf and place in a greased 5 X 9 loaf pan. You can also use a larger baking dish or even smaller mini loaves. Keep in mind the size will determine how long it takes to cook.
  • Mix brown sugar and ketchup, adding a squirt of mustard, until you reach a desired sweetness. You will need about a cup.
  • Pour the mixture over the meatloaf.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes – or until it is done all the way through.

I served mine with a loaded baked potato and green beans. Some of my favorite sides. For a less heavy meal you can always go with a side salad or grilled veggies. Comment below and let us know what you think of this recipe and what some of your favorite comfort foods are!