Meatloaf Recipe – For Festivus Holiday or Any Other Time, Variations for All of Us
Quintessential Festivus Meatloaf
No Pressure Winter Holiday - Festivus!
I love getting together with my friends for a casual, no pressure, let’s just have fun occasion. Festivus surely fits that bill. Even the “Airing of Grievances” is non-threatening because we really direct our gripes at outsiders (woe unto those who are not invited!)
Nonetheless, before the Feats of Strength and Griping comes the simple feast. Whoever designated Meatloaf as a Festivus food was a GENIUS! Meatloaf is one of those dishes which is extremely forgiving of little wrinkles and adjustments. Or slight errors, even. This is good because my circle of friends has all sorts of varying dietary needs and preferences. Thus, I have developed a quick and easy way to make 2 meatloaves with minimal work.
Gentle or Spicy Meatloaves
One of the meatloaves will be bland for the friends whose bodies do not like gas-producing, onions or peppers or yummy ingredients. The other will be good! (I guess you can tell in which camp I sit.) The beauty of this system is that the cook need not do one of the recipes start-to-finish, and then embark on the second one start-to-finish. This process exploits the common ground (which, in this case, includes ground beef..haha.)
Festivus Barbequed Meatloaf Parts One and Two
Serves 6 to 7 people.* Preparation time: 15 minutes. Baking time: 30 to 40 minutes.
Large mixing bowl
Clean hands (yes, meatloaf making is a contact sport)
2 casserole dishes, each size 1-quart or larger
Oven preheated to 350 degrees F
3 pounds of ground beef which is fatty – such as 75/25 or 80/20 (The leaner ground beef is just too dry. We are not pretending that this is health food here.)
1-1/2 cups of seasoned (Italian is good) breadcrumbs (This comes in a cylindrical canister – don’t be toasting and grating bread.)
1 cup of barbeque sauce (ketchup is a poor substitute, but in a pinch it will suffice)
½ cup chopped onion (from a fresh onion, bag of frozen chopped onion, or dried minced onion from the spice section of the grocery store)
1 green pepper, chopped
½ teaspoon of pepper – the shaker kind
Preheat the oven if you haven’t already. 350 degrees.
Wash your hands especially well, because your hands will be tools.
Break the eggs into the large bowl and stir.
Add to that about ¾ of the barbeque sauce – just eyeball judge it – there is no need to measure it if you already poured one cup into a measure. Stir well.
Slowly add all the ground beef. Do this by taking off about 1 pound at a time and breaking it into crumbly bits letting fall into the mixing bowl. Stir and then add the next pound. Follow the same procedure until the beef is all in.
Next slowly sprinkle half the bread crumbs over it all. Take those clean hands and squeeze, moosh, and mix everything together. Then sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs and repeat.
Spoon about half of this mixture into one of the casserole dishes and set aside on the counter for a moment until meatloaf Number Two is finished.
Add the chopped onion, chopped green pepper, and shaker pepper to what is left in the mixing bowl. Stir well. If you have guests who like even more spicy or tasty ingredients, add those now. Spoon all of this mixture into the other casserole dish.
Drizzle the remaining barbeque sauce on top of each meatloaf.
Time to Cook
Using hot pads or other protective gear, place both casserole dishes into the hot oven/ Set a timer for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, take a look and a smell. The meatloaf should be brown in the center, NOT PINK.
Serve and enjoy, tinsel-free. : )
* Adjusting for More or Fewer Festivus Guests:
If you do not know how to reduce or expand a recipe, then your 6th grade math teacher is very, very sad right now.
SIMPLE Re-Cap of Recipe:
The recipe is repeated below without explanations and pithy side remarks. : (
- 3 pounds ground beef, 75/25 or 80/20
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs, Italian
- 1 cup barbeque sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix eggs, meat, 3/4 of the barbeque sauce and bread crumbs thoroughly.
- Put half of this mixture into one casserole dish.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the remaining meat mixture and blend well.
- Put this into the second casserole dish and cover with remaining barbeque sauce.
- Cook both in oven for 30 minutes or a little longer to insure that the center meat is not pink (uncooked.)
For the musically inclined, check these Festivus carols.
Text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.