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A Meatloaf Recipe Tweak

A meatloaf mashup on crocheted potholders -
orange and black by Gran, Go Pokes!
Last night I made a meatloaf at my mother-in-law's request. It's a combo recipe from Saveur Magazine (number 165) and my Gran's recipe, which turns out was borrowed from another church friend.

When Gran sent me her recipe years ago she left out a crucial ingredient -- the binder, in her case oatmeal or crackers -- and I could never get it to turn out right. Finally my sister clued me in to my mistake. D'oh! Gran's recipe uses dry onion soup mix for flavoring, so I that taste is always top notch to me although maybe too processed for some. (My Grandma Jane would mix that soup mix with sour cream and serve with real Lay's potato chips for holiday appetizers and oh-em-gee that's some tasty stuff too. Ah, memories!)

The Saveur recipe is tasty and uses cornflakes for the binder, which makes a sweeter meatloaf -- never a bad thing to my taste buds but not the best for managing my health! It also uses a small yellow onion minced, but I found when I use that it's even better to grate it into the loaf so it melts in fully. The easier tweak is to just use the soup mix. The Saveur recipe calls for ground chuck and veal, although I honestly have never bought veal. I've had the best success with meatloaf mix.

I can't always find meatloaf/meatball mix at my grocery store (it's the worst but conveniently located and I'm addicted to the gas rewards), but when I do it makes the best tasting loaf. I think it's beef and pork, but it might have a third thing. Last night's meatloaf was straight beef and it turned out OK, although I could have boosted the binder as it still fell apart a little in the middle. Doesn't affect the taste though!

So the recipe mashup/tweak/what-have-you:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

1 package of meatloaf mix or hamburger (about 1.5 lbs)
2 cups crushed cornflakes
1 egg
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 can of tomato soup

Mix all this in a big bowl. Mash into a loaf pan, but don't pack too tightly. Squirt on thin layer of ketchup topping (optional but delicious) and bake about an hour until cooked through.

Last night we served with a side of frozen mixed veggies (broccoli, carrots & cauliflower), mac & cheese and Hawaiian rolls. Nom-nom-nom. (After last night I think it will be back to oatmeal binder for a while, although I didn't even eat the macaroni!)

Saveur recommends letting the loaf cool and making sandwiches on burger buns. It really is amazing -- add cheese and regular burger-type toppings WOW.


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