Meatloaf is one of those foods that I’m super picky about. You could say that I am a meatloaf snob. But, that’s because I was raised on my mother’s incredible super moist super tangy recipe. It is one of those dishes that I most remember from childhood, and to this day, it is still the best I’ve ever tried.
Now that I have a family of my own, my husband (who had never been impressed with meatloaf) and our kids (who had never heard of it) all love my mom’s meatloaf as well and look forward to it whenever they know I’m planning to make it for dinner. I usually only make it on weekends, because it does take a bit of time and just seems like the perfect Sunday night family dinner. But, I do occasionally serve it on a weeknight too, assembling and freezing it during the weekend, thawing it in the fridge on the desired day, and then adding the tomato sauce and baking it after work. It pairs exceptionally well with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans, and also reheats quite well for leftovers.
With Fall upon us, and Winter only a few months away, I thought it time that I share Mom’s fabulous recipe. It is such a great comfort food that just shouts out cool and cozy weather and cooking.
- 1 pound ground beef (I use 15% fat)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons A-1 or Worcestershire sauce (I use Worcestershire)
- ⅓ cup bread or cracker crumbs (I use bread crumbs)
- 2 small cans tomato sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Milk, approximately ½ cup (I use 1%)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix everything together except ½ can tomato sauce and the milk. Add milk until mixture is wet, but holds it shape. Alternate adding slightly more bread crumbs and milk if you need it to be a bit more firm or moist.
- Spread into one 9×13 baking dish (or two 8×8, if you want to freeze one). Mold into a loaf form.
- Pour the ½ can of remaining tomato sauce over the top and spread around.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until loaf is firm and crumbly.
This is a great dish to make ahead on your day off, freeze, and then thaw and bake later for a quicker weeknight dinner.
Follow cooking instructions up through step 3. Form loaves in freezer-friendly disposable aluminum baking dishes (either one big 9x13 if you have a big family or dinner group, or 2 small 8x8 for two smaller dinners), cover tightly with foil or the plastic covers that sometimes come with disposable baking pans.
On the day when you're ready to cook, thaw the dish in your fridge during the day. Uncover, then proceed to step 4 , and cook as normal.
I’m not sure a house is a home until it has a meatloaf recipe. :o) And your mom’s sounds delicious. Kudos on the addition of milk and bread crumbs to keep it moist. It has never occurred to me to freeze a loaf, so I’m gonna have to file that away as a tip. That would cut out a LOT of time mid-week, especially when I don’t get home until 8 PM and I’m STARVING.
Yes, indeed, freezing the load ahead of time (sans the final dousing of tomato sauce across the top) is a huge time saver for me during the work week! I take it out of the freezer and thaw in the fridge all day when I’m at work. Preheat the oven as soon as I get home, toss it it, and have an awesome comfort-food dinner by the time we’re all ready to sit down to eat.
My hubby loves meatloaf so I am going to make it for dinner tonight. I will have to double the recipe though because I am feeding my whole crew…lol.