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Meat Loaf - The Sunday Night Dinner Anytime of the Week
A hearty meal
Are you getting hungry
What is Meat Loaf? It is a scrump-dilly-umpcious dish that originated from The Great Depression as a way of stretching the family food budget. Yet, even if people aren’t trying to stretch the food budget, it has become well known as a wholesome family sitdown meal.
Meat Loaf can be made in many different varieties, but really is just a dish of ground beef mixed with a binder like eggs and bread crumbs and then shaped into a loaf and sometimes smothered with ketchup or some other type of sauce. Meat Loaf is a traditional Belgium, German or Dutch dish and is cousin to the Italian Meatball. And pretty much, the main distinction is really the shape. One is a loaf and the other is a ball, but you already kind of knew that.
So now that you have the Meat Loaf background, and you are drooling over the thought of wholesome family time (or just a good home cooked meal), it is time for you to wash your hands and get your Meat Loaf on.
Is your loaf in the oven?
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A Pat on the Back, A Loaf in the Oven
Meat Loaf reminds me of a dump recipe. There are so many different ways to make it, and everybody has a different recipe. When I first met my husband, he refused to eat Meat Loaf. I guess it was because he never liked it when he was growing up. (From my observation, adults love Meat Loaf; and kids pretend to hate it! It must be the uncool thing to eat!) After 2 years, I finally made the Meat Loaf without asking his permission. He had no choice but to eat it. Now, he doesn’t complain if that is what's for super!
So, with a few key ingredients, you should be ready to make a tasty Meat Loaf just for supper tonight.
- 1 to 2 pounds of ground hamburger
- Quaker Oats oatmeal
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- French’s French Fried Onions (big can)
Because this is a dump recipe, feel free to either omit ingredients or add ingredients depending on how you prefer the taste. For certain ingredients, I have a tendency to not measure and play it off depending on the consistency of the meat.
- In a large mixing bowl, throw in your ground hamburger. Depending on the type of hamburger you use, remember the loaf will shrink while cooking. I prefer to use closer to 2 pounds of meat because I have a rather large family to feed. Not to mention, Meat Loaf is one of those meals that make awesome leftovers, if you are lucky enough to have leftovers.
- Prepare the onion by finely chopping it into small pieces. I don’t like big hunks of onion, but I do like the flavor it gives.
- In the mixing bowl, add the chopped onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, Ketchup, salt and pepper to the bowl. For the Worcestershire sauce, I do use the ¼ cup measurement, but for the ketchup, while the original recipe calls for ¼ cup as well, I just squirt in the amount that I like. Mush all the ingredients together by hand.
- Once the meat mixture is mixed well, start adding the Quaker Oats. Start out with about 1 cup, but make sure to add enough to make the mixture more like a dough. You don’t want the meat to be to wet and the quaker oats is what will give it that firmer feeling.
- Once you are satisfied with how the consistency feels, add some of the French Fried onions to the mixture as well.
- Shape into a loaf and put into a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
- Sprinkle Meat Loaf with additional French Fried Onions and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.
- Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve with mashed potatoes and corn for a complete and hearty meal.