There are probably as many recipes for meat loaf as there are kitchens in America. Every family has their favorite. I was particularly fond of my Mom’s meat loaf. She used – among other things – tomato paste and lots of onions in her meatloaf. When we married, Nancy used her Mother’s recipe with lots of catsup. It took a while, but now I’m used to that recipe and enjoy it.
Last week, I decided to try an old fashioned meat loaf recipe with no catsup. As usual, I added my own twist and it turned out pretty good. I call it a New Old Fashioned Meat Loaf. Here’s how.
First, I bought a very lean package of ground beef, I think it was 93/7. I don’t like it when the meat loaf sits and cooks in all that fat. When I looked in the cabinet, I was out of breadcrumbs. I had some Panko crumbs and pulled that out, but I also spotted a half-full can of French fried onions, like you use in a green bean casserole. I decided to use a cup of that, crushed, with about a ¼ cup Panko to hold the loaf together. It worked and added immense flavor to the meat loaf.
In addition to the onions and Panko, I used 2 eggs, 2 pounds of beef, a tablespoon of dried minced onions, plus salt and pepper.
Mix all the ingredients and form a loaf and cook at 350 for about 50 minutes.
For the gravy, I had a couple tablespoons of beef drippings on hand and I put that in a skillet along with a tablespoon of butter, 1 cup of canned mushrooms and ½ C of diced onions. Sautee the mushrooms and onions for 5 or 10 minutes and add 1 C beef broth, simmer for another 5 or 10 minutes, then put 1 T corn starch into a ¼ c cold water, mix and add to the gravy to thicken. Serve the gravy over the meat loaf with – what else – mashed potatoes.
But definitely try the French fried onions next time instead of breadcrumbs. It adds a new dimension.
2 pounds lean ground beef
S & P
1 C crumbled French fried onions (from a can)
¼ C Panko crumbs
1 T dried minced onions
3 T beef drippings (if available)
1 C beef broth
1 T butter
½ C diced onions
1 C canned mushrooms
1 T corn starch
2 T cold water