Monday’s Meatloaf

Meat loaf was there and then it wasn’t. In the 1950s everyone had meatloaf. It became a supper standard and a way to stretch protein. Beefed out with oatmeal, bread or cracker crumbs, a pound of ground meat could serve a family of six. It morphed into meatloaf sandwiches, individual meatloaves and even gussied up with bits of ham, olives and mushrooms to become a sort of American pâté.

Burgers and meatballs now have the spotlight, but meatloaf’s an easy answer to the “what’s for dinner” question. With basic ingredients available at every supermarket, ten minutes to chop and mix plus an aromatic bake while you prepare a salad and blanch broccoli, meatloaf still makes a good dinner.

Monday Meatloaf

½ lb. lean ground beef

¼ lb. ground pork (or 1 4 oz. link Italian sausage)

½ cup (packed) fresh bread crumbs* or ¼ cup dry crumbs

¼ cup milk

1 small onion (½ cup finely chopped) and 1 teaspoon olive oil or        bacon dripping

1 clove garlic minced, mashed or pressed

1 large egg

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

few dashes hot sauce (optional)

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (optional)

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 strip bacon (optional)

* To make fresh breadcrumbs, remove crust and dice bread. Drop into a whizzing blender to crumb or crumble with fingertips.

Soak breadcrumbs in milk. Sauté onion until softened; cool.

One key to a light meatloaf is to mix gently. Break the meat apart with a fork, and mix in ingredients with a forking motion rather than kneading. Combine everything except ketchup and bacon. Shape into an oval loaf 7 by 3 inches and place in a flat glass or pottery baking dish.

Cover the top and sides with ketchup and lay over a strip of bacon. For added flavor, surround the loaf with thinly sliced onion. Large dice of 5-minute parboiled potato will bake nicely along with the meat loaf. Place in a cold oven, set temperature for 375° and bake for about 45 minutes or until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 160°. Serves 2–3. Recipe may easily be doubled for a larger loaf needing 15 minutes longer to bake.

Mary Jo’s cookbook is available at Amazon.com    http://amzn.to/9lOnZv

 

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