2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I use the Italian Seasoned kind)
2 tablespoons grated onion, or 2 tsp onion powder, or a half-packet of Lipton’s dry onion soup mix
1 clove crushed garlic, or 2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1 tablespoon Cholula or Tabasco (optional)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (not-so-optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds lean ground beef, or one pound each of ground buffalo and ground turkey (which is how I usually make it)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon (or cube) beef bouillon, dissolved
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, sage, Cholula/Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 pounds of meat and mix thoroughly (the best part is getting the hamburger under your fingernails – woo!). Gradually add final 1/2 pound of meat until the mixture can be shaped by hand into a loaf (may not require all the meat). Shape into a 9×5-inch rectangle or oval, and carefully place it in the crock pot. Sprinkle additional Worcestershire and/or Cholula/Tabasco over top. Cover and cook on LOW for five to six hours (and really, you can’t overcook the thing – it’s been in the crock pot for 7 or 8 hours before and turned out just fine).
I’ve provided instructions for both the sauce and the gravy, to put on top of the meatloaf. My family prefers the gravy, although I love the sauce, too.
Sauce – Combine ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour mixture over meat. Turn control to HIGH. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. Slice and serve meatloaf.
Gravy – Remove meatloaf from crockpot. Pour juices and drippings into a saucepan. Put saucepan on stove on high heat. Bring to a boil. Combine water, milk, cornstarch, and bouillon in a bowl or measuring cup. When drippings are boiling, add liquid mixture. Return to a boil and stir until thickened. Add more or less milk/water for desired consistency. Slice and serve meatloaf with gravy.
- Add a packet of onion soup mix to the ground beef mixture in place of onion and garlic.
- Add three or four jalapeno slices (nacho style) to the top of the meatloaf at the beginning of the cooking cycle.
- Top with shredded cheese in the final 15 minutes of the cooking cycle, and cook until cheese is melted.
- Meatloaf Calvin Style – Put a slice of Texas Toast on a plate. Add a slice of meatloaf. Top with mashed potatoes. Top mashed potatoes with a spoonful of canned corn (warmed). Cover all with gravy, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, Cholula, and a dab of Ranch dressing. Groan as you can feel your arteries clogging.
- Killer Meatloaf Sandwich – Prepare two slices of bread by buttering one side of each slice, and putting mayonnaise or Miracle Whip on the other side of each slice. Assemble sandwich such that the buttered sides of the bread are on the *outside*. Fill the sandwich with a thin slice of meatloaf, a spreading of ketchup, a slice of pepper-jack cheese, salt, and pepper. Place the assembled sandwich in a frying pan warmed over medium/high heat, and fry until both sides are golden brown (as in a grilled cheese sandwich).
As you can tell, clearly this household obsesses over this meatloaf. If anybody out there decides to make this, drop me a line and let me know how it turned out, okay?