Tuesday was Day #1 of Experiment New Dinnertime. I made meatloaf. Yeah, I thought I would start out with something totally horrible by the standards of picky kid eaters.
When Hubby and I were talking on the phone a couple days ago, he said he was on board with The Dinner Nazi, but there were certain things he just couldn't eat. I told him I understand that. I'm not going to make totally ridiculous things....only things that most normal people like. He listed some specifics...fish, ketchup, and a couple others. When I agreed I would not cook those things, he said, "Good, meatloaf is out then!" Little did he know, it was on the way...
I don't like ketchup either, and I think that's why meatloaf has always left a bad taste in my mouth. (Pun intended.) The last time I remember eating meatloaf was when I was probably 8 and it was a major chore to get down. I got thinking- that's ridiculous! How can I hold onto that idea for nearly 30 years that meatloaf is disgusting??? I'm a fairly good cook. I can put in the meatloaf whatever I want.
So I googled "no ketchup meatloaf." Turns out, I'm not alone in the ketchup in meatloaf aversion. Tons of results came up. One of the comments said, "Isn't that the point of meatloaf? To put in whatever you have on hand?" So, I decided to customize our own meatloaf.
Here's the recipe I started with:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 C bread crumbs
1 onion, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
16 oz. tomato sauce
3 T vinegar
3 T brown sugar
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C water to thin, if necessary
Of course, I dialed down the onion- a lot! I can't stand when food is overpowered with onion flavor. I dialed down the pepper, eliminated the vinegar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. I thought the vinegar is what would give it more of a ketchup taste. And I don't have Dijon mustard or Worcestershire. I didn't use the water. I added a dash of garlic powder, as I was out of fresh, and a couple shakes of Italian seasoning. My goal was to make it more like Italian meatballs, which Hubby & I both like. (The kids like NOTHING!)
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper, and 1/2 C tomato sauce. Form this mixture into a loaf and place in a shallow pan. (I used a loaf pan to make it look like traditional meatloaf). Stir together the remaining ingredients, using the water if needed. Pour over the meatloaf. Bake 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices.
I had an appointment, so I covered the top with about 3/4 of the prepared sauce, put it in the oven, and left. I did not baste.
The verdict: pretty good! The sauce on top was very sweet. I liked that; Hubby thought it was too sweet. If you don't like sweet food, dial down the brown sugar a bit. Of course, all my kids fought me, yet I made them eat some. I think I'll add it to the occasional rotation. It was very easy to make ahead and pop in the oven later. I served it with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.
Your thoughts about Meatloaf: love it or hate it???