With winter coming, we’re looking for quick, easy and hearty meals. One that never disappoints is Mom’s Meatloaf. Now, before you click away in horror and disgust, this meatloaf is not your ordinary hard beef brick. It’s moist, tender, flavourful and such a favourite in our home we have it at least monthly. It freezes so well, I’ll make up half a dozen meatloafs, freeze them and pull them out for a quick and tasty dinner.
Meatloaf has been around in various forms for centuries. it apparently features in ancient roman tome Apicius — a collection of Roman recipes. In medieval Europe, using scraps and odds and ends from around the kitchen was common for creating leftover meals for hungry mouths, though that could be where meatloaf started to get is bad rap. America adopted meatloaf with gusto, though trying to trace when and where it first gained popularity is a bit of a crapshoot. And honestly, we probably don’t care that much.
Fillers: Meatloaf became a budget staple during the depression years, as it’s quite easy to stretch the use of the meat by adding fillers like bread crumbs, rice, cereal like cornflakes, or as my recipe uses, oatmeal. But believe me, when you cut into the finished product, you’d never be able to tell there’s oats inside it.
Egg/Dairy Additions: Some people don’t like adding eggs; I’m in the group that thinks it makes it bind together much better, and I don’t think it toughens it at all.
Meat Selections: There are as many meatloaf recipes as there are families. Some people swear by beef alone as your meat contribution. Others, particularly in the US south like to add ground pork. Of course you could add lamb, bison, ostrich or just about any other meat that catches your fancy, either in whole or in a mix.
Topping: The last step in a great meatloaf is a topping; it keeps it moist and adds flavour and dimension. Some people love ketchup, others prefer BBQ sauce, mustard, even mashed potatoes or a bacon wrap. What works for me, is soup. yes, soup. Condensed canned soup. Now, before you cry ‘sacrilege!’, it’s moist, flavourful, and creamy. Everything you want in a winter meal. My weapon of choice is Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom, but you could also use whichever your favourite creamed soup happens to be.
Mama Linda’s ‘No-Fail’ Meatloaf
1lb ground beef
1 c milk (2%, but anything will do.)
1 egg, beaten
1 finely chopped onion
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce/Lea & Perrins
1 cup rolled oats
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup (do not add the water/milk)
Blend all ingredients together in a bowl until well mixed. Put into loaf pan (1 large or 2 small) and bake at 350 for approx 45 minutes or until meat thermometer says its cooked through. Apply condensed soup and bake about 15 minutes more or until topping is golden and thickened. I had a question about this Tweeted to me. I thought it was a good one, and I had a couple creative answers (or so I think).
@tvchick13 Do you have ideas for replacing the soup with a “clean eating” alternative? Also, I’d use ground turkey.
I replied: @agthsmkt Hmmmm.. Pureed spinach with a touch of cream & salt? Mashed celeraic & parsnip spread over top? I’d eat both of those.