Friday, November 4, 2011

Meatloaf That Actually Tastes Good!

Chilly Willy says...
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When I did my freezer cooking I knew that I wanted to make meatloaf. I absolutely love meatloaf and especially love it when it is cold out with some homemade mashed potatoes on the side.

Usually when I make meatloaf I just throw a bunch of stuff together and cross my fingers that it will come out somewhat decent but this time, since I was making three pans of meatloaf, I wanted to use a real recipe. I found this one on All Recipes (I love All Recipes for easy to make recipes and Cook's Illustrated for more labor intensive special recipes).

I followed all of the directions exactly except for a few minor changes. First, I decided to soak the bread cubes in the milk before mixing them into the other ingredients. Why soak the bread, you may ask? Well, soaking the bread makes the meatloaf more moist- especially helpful when you are using lean meat in your recipe (I used 90% ground beef). This also holds true for hamburgers, meatballs, etc. The next thing I did a bit differently was that I sauteed the chopped onions in butter until they were softened. I did this because my family likes the taste of onions but not actual onions. By softening them I was able to make sure that by the time the meatloaf was done cooking that the onions would be fully cooked through and not at all crunchy therefore giving us the taste and not the texture of onions. Lastly, instead of the glaze that the recipe called for (I am just not into ketchup on top of meatloaf) I used brown gravy (not made from scratch- I used one of those seasoning packets because I am lazy and because it was cheaper than the canned gravy).

When I mixed up the ingredients I got a little (okay, a lot) worried about the amount of mustard that was called for because my husband is not a mustard person (I on the other hand could drink mustard out of the bottle I love it so much). But don't worry, once the meatloaf is cooked you can barely taste any mustard- the ingredients just seem to meld together into something very tasty.

I'm not sure how everyone else makes meatloaf to freeze, but I did not cook mine before freezing- I just mixed up all of the ingredients, put into loaf pans and froze. The only thing that my picky self will eat that has been cooked and then frozen are meatballs. Anything else would cause me to throw up. Picky? Yes, yes I am.

Both my husband and I really liked this recipe, which is good because I have two more in the freezer and I would have literally started crying if tasted like crap. The meatloaf came out moist and had a wonderful flavor. My kids did not touch it but that is because at the moment they are adverse to anything with ground beef- I wonder where they get their pickiness from?

I guess what I am saying after all of this senseless babbling is that this recipe is a keeper. No more dry, tasteless meatloaf for me!

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