This GPM from dear Tortuga will ring a bell for anyone who can’t claim to be Martha Stewart in the kitchen!
It’s cool to get someone else’s take on meatloaf, isn’t it? I think we all have our own tried-and-true meatloaf recipe. Some like it sweet, some like it savory. Meaty and firm, or fall-apart-juicy. Some with a sauce, others notsomuch. My mother’s is pretty good, but when I added a few sliced olives to make it all mine… it was sublime.
Let Tortuga guide you through her own meatloaf epiphany, and enjoy!
The Magic of Meatloaf
Wow! A chance to guest post on someone else’s blog. Oh the evil and twisted things I could do and say…
Heck no! I’ll save the juicy gossip for my own blog, thank you very much. Instead, Jenn gets to display my, what we like to call around here, mad burgeoning mom kitchen skillz.
Now, before I start, there’s some necessary background information that is key to understanding why my posting a recipe post is such a big deal.
The necessary background information is:
No, no, I don’t mean that. I try it and am halfway decent but am just being modest, I mean I actually shouldn’t be allowed in a kitchen because I burn water. Seriously. One of the biggest selling points for me marrying Hubby was that he can cook, and I mean he makes that Flay fellow look like a chump when it comes to some things. Meanwhile, I only just learned how to make mac n’ cheese last year and will admit to having burned holes in not one but three, count em, three bowls while trying to make rice (you’d think I would have learned the first time).
So, now you understand why even the idea of my posting a cooking recipe is not only strange but downright hilarious. Nonetheless, I am posting one, go ahead and laugh.
I’ll wait while you go laugh some more.
Done yet…? Now…? Ok, good.
So, I got this wild idea to make a meatloaf, but not just any meatloaf, I wanted it to be awesome. I cheapo’d and bought the seasoning pouch at the store, my pound of beef, went home and made it… without burning it, I might add. Slop on some ketchup and away we went. It was okay, nothing spectacular, just okay.
I was determined to make a meatloaf that would make people say “I wanna go to her house when she makes that,” so I did a little digging and used a little personal ingenuity (I tend to be overloaded on that sometimes). Now, bear in mind, I didn’t make all these meatloafs one after another, there was at least 2 weeks or more between each, so don’t go thinking we eat meatloaf all that often, even though my story will sound like we do.
So one day I was watching the Food Network (my pipe dreams have their own channel!) with my daughter. More like she was watching, I just happened to be in the room because the Lord knows I don’t learn a lick off those shows. She was watching it and the host was making a meatloaf and included something different in hers. My daughter suggested I try it. I did, and it was even awesomer than my last meatloaf (yeah, I used “awesomer”, deal with it). I’ll tell you what it was later.
I made a third loaf some time later and noticed we’d run out of a crucial ingredient. I decided to improvise, which in and of itself is horrendously frightening for me in the kitchen, but lo and behold, it worked fantastically! You get this ingredient later too.
So then I got to thinking some more. Hubby, ah Hubby, there’s a man that loves his bacon. I wondered as to the feasibility of adding the stuff to a meatloaf and then saw a commercial for that Denny’s Baconalia thing-a-whatever and they mentioned bacon meatloaf so I decided to talk to the guy in the meat department at the grocery store. I refuse to call him a butcher because I’ve worked in the meat department of a grocery store and I guarantee you they aren’t all actual butchers. Anyway, so I considered adding the yumminess that is bacon and went home and decided to put together all my new ingredients and see what would happen.
No, I am not above experimenting on my family.
Yes, they are aware that at any given time something I cook could hasten their mortality.
So, now, without further ado, I present my own creation; my very first recipe that I made all by myself! It doesn’t have a fancy name or anything; we’ll just call it Tortuga’s Meatloaf for now.
Disclaimer: if you get sick when you try to make this, you probably didn’t do it right because no one got sick or died when I made it, and that’s saying something.
Note: all measurements are approximate and in American standard. Feel free to add or remove as desired. No, I won’t do the conversions for you.
2+ pounds of ground beef
1+ pounds of bacon
If you have a super awesometastic guy at the grocery store like I do, he’ll grind these together for you and save you a heckuva lot of work!
1 pouch of meatloaf seasoning, generic works just fine
because we’re not sophisticated enough to mix our own spices yet
1 medium sized onion
1 package of celery
Several cups of generic Crisped Rice cereal
because frankly there’s no sense paying for the name brand stuff
oh yeah, we don’t measure this out, we eyeball it cause it’s fun that way
2 cups of ketchup
1 cup of brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F (or whatever your equivalent is).
- Get a full size cookie sheet and cover it in foil. You’ll thank me for this later.
- Making the dry part: Pour about 2 cups of cereal for every pound of meat you plan to use into a bowl. Mash it up into dust, or sorta dust with little chunks. I know it sounds like a lot, but you’d be surprised how much air is in it. Once it’s all crumby, add in the seasoning.
- Dice the onions and celery into tiny pieces. Go on, get mad at that onion for making you cry and make it feel the pain too. Use enough celery to make it about equal to the onion and then dump these in the bowl with the cereal and seasoning.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them until thoroughly mixed. Add this to the cereal and veggies. This mixture is what I call the Goop.
- Add in all your meat, all ground together. If your bacon and beef are not already ground together, well, you just have more work then doncha? Make em all mixed before you add them to everything else. If the bacon isn’t ground, chop it into very teeny weeny little itty bitty bits.
- Use your hands to work all these ingredients together. Yeah, you’re gonna get messy. I guess you could wear gloves if you really want to, but where’s the fun in that? Oh yeah, if you have rings on, take them off before you do this step. We’re making meatloaf, not Mardi Gras cake, no one wants your bling in their dinner.
- Once it’s all mixed all nice and thorough like, pick it up all at once and drop it onto the foiled cookie sheet. Use those long denied mad play-doh skillz and shape it into a nice loaf or, if you want to be truly creative, make it into interesting shapes!
- Let that sit on the pan and wash your hands. We don’t want to spread germs.
- Mix together in a separate bowl the ketchup and brown sugar. Add in about 2 cups of cereal. You don’t have to mash this part up, unless you want to, then by all means vent that pent up frustration on those poor helpless grains!
- Spread this mixture on top of your loaf, kinda like icing a cake, except not the sides because it will drip down as it bakes. This will make a nice crust and no need to add other toppings later.
- Bake for at least an hour. If you use more than 2 pounds of beef, I recommend an additional half hour per pound. If you want really crispy crust on it (which ends up sorta caramelized and muy delicioso) add an extra half hour.
- Be sure you pour off the grease before you serve it because that stuff is just nasty and very not good for you. The foil on the pan makes it much easier to negotiate the dumping of the nasty as well as reduces the grease on the actual pan, making clean up even easier!
I can’t give you accurate serving information because the males in my family eat this stuff like it’s their last meal. That, to me, is a good sign! As for the new ingredients, the cooking show suggested brown sugar as an addition to the ketchup topping. The second was that I had run out of bread crumbs so I substituted with cereal. Enjoy, feel free to share, just don’t cry at me if it kills someone!
Oh, and just wait… I have a new recipe for fish I will add sometime in the near future!!!