Dinner · Food

The Goal is Scrumptious: Meatloaf

I never really liked meatloaf.  Growing up, I was terrified of crunching down on an onion.  I’d slather each bite in ketchup, hoping that it would hide the taste and texture of the meatloaf, eating only as much as was necessary so I wouldn’t go hungry.

On top of that, I’ve always been a bit squeamish about handling raw meat, especially mixing it with my hands.  I avoid it whenever possible.  (Enter my sweet husband who usually hand-mixes our meatballs for me…)

makin' meatloaf @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

And so, I’ve mostly avoided meatloaf as an adult.

Then recently I was browsing recipes, and one for meatloaf caught my eye.  For some inexplicable reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

My kids love meatballs–it’s one of the few meals they all eat eagerly and completely every time.  (And how often does THAT happen?!)  Meatloaf has a lot of the same stuff in it, right?  They might love it.  And I know my husband adores meatloaf.

Maybe my taste had grown up enough that even I would like it?

Meatloaf was sounding more and more appealing.

Baked meatloaf @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com
There is probably some way to avoid the crusted, unappealing burnt bits around this meatloaf, perhaps the “meatloaf pan” I read so much about while browsing recipes?  Eh… who cares?  🙂  The meatloaf itself was delicious.
So I started looking at recipes.  I went with (and adapted) one that used oats rather than breadcrumbs, for the added nutrition/fiber/whatever is in oats that makes them filling and good for you.

The recipe also suggested grating the onion to hide it from the kiddos (and me, of course–still not a fan of crunchy onion).  This worked perfectly!

Meatloaf for Dinner @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

This recipe was ridiculously easy to put together.  And my husband said it was moist.

Moist!

I tend to err on the side of overcooked meat, so this felt like a huge compliment.  The flavor was quite good, though I still enjoyed dipping it in ketchup.  🙂

And the kids gobbled it up just like meatballs, all three of them!  Yep, I’ll be making meatloaf again.

Now that I got the hang of it, I may add in some additional seasoning next time (a little more salt or Worcestershire, or maybe some extra veggies or a squirt of ketchup or mustard actually in the loaf).

Moist Meatloaf @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Super Simple Meatloaf
(Adapted from this recipe at Real Life Dinner)

For the loaf:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20)*
  • 3/4 c. quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 c. 2% milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion, grated**
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • good splash Worcestershire sauce

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 c. ketchup
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP yellow mustard
  • good splash Worcestershire sauce

*As I understand it (though I’m still very much an amateur), for primarily meaty foods, such as hamburgers, a little fat helps keep the meat from drying out and getting tough.  So, I figured the 80/20 ground beef would be good for a meatloaf.  (And it was definitely good! Moist! Moist!!)

**Grating the onion isn’t too bad a job with a small cheese grater, but if you don’t have kids napping within earshot, you could easily pulverize the onion in a food processor.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick spray.
  2. Gently, but thoroughly, mix the loaf ingredients in a large bowl.  Be careful not to over-mix it.  Scoop the mixture onto the center of the baking pan and shape into a loaf about 2 inches high.
  3. Stir together the sauce ingredients and spread over the top of the loaf.
  4. Bake for 70-80 minutes*, ensuring that the center is no longer pink.  Let rest a few minutes before serving.

*My meatloaf came out perfectly at 70 minutes.

What food fears are you overcoming from your childhood?  I’d love to hear about it!

Have a great Wednesday!

~Katie

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5 thoughts on “The Goal is Scrumptious: Meatloaf

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