|Written by Heather Lacey|
During an economic downturn, many of us search for new and inexpensive ways to feed our families.Â Meatloaf is the quintessential â€śmake it stretchâ€ť meal.
1 lb lean ground beef, 1 celery stalk (diced), 1/2Â onion (diced)
8 slices white bread (crumbled to the size of bread crumbs -Â use a cheese grater, seriously)
1 egg, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp salt,
1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Step One:Â Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step Two: This recipe calls for using your hands â€“ a lot.Â In a medium bowl, mix the ground beef with the chopped onion and celery.Â Add salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and mix thoroughly with hands.
Step Three:Â The fresh bread crumbs are vital to this dish.Â Thatâ€™s what keeps the meatloaf so moist.Â Â Add aboutÂ three-quarters of the crumbledÂ bread to the meat and spice mixture.Â Knead with hands.Â The texture of the meat/bread mixture should be drier than you started, but not qualify as dry.
Step Four: If you smell the meat, you should be able to clearly notice the garlic and pepper aromas.Â If not, (not meaning it smells only like raw meat) add more spice â€“ a teaspoon at a time â€“ until it is noticeable.
Step Five: Crack the egg and add to the mixture.Â Rub the egg through the meat with your fingers.Â The mixture will become much looser and sticky.
Step Six:Â Add the rest of the bread crumbs and mix throughÂ to soak up the liquid content of the egg.Â You will know if you added enough bread because the meat mixture will finally become moldable.Â Â It will be squishier than before adding the egg, but not loose.Â It will take on a moldable consistency.
Step Seven: Form the meat into a loaf-shaped log and place in the loaf pan.
Step Eight: For the topping, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce.Â Spread the sauce mixture evenly on top of the loaf.
Step Nine: Cook the meatloaf in the oven for at leastÂ 1 hour.Â If youâ€™re concerned about doneness, cut into the middle to check for pink color.
Step Ten: When the meatloaf is done, let it rest outside of the oven for about 15 minutes.
Slice the loaf and serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.Â Many peopleÂ enjoy meatloaf asÂ a hot dinner with gravy, but there is a valid argument that it isÂ best as a cold meatloaf sandwich the next day!