I usually left making meatloaf to my late husband. The only way I’ll make meatloaf myself is in a crock pot. I am truly cursed when it comes to making any form of traditional oven baked meatloaf!
One day his mother asked if I’d help her prepare dinner, and after being told by me “Oh, sorry, I don’t do meatloaf”, decided she was going to teach me to make meatloaf. I told her she didn’t stand a chance because for my lifetime countless numbers of relatives had already tried (multiple times each) and I told her about my “meatloaf curse”.
Determined there was no such thing as a curse and that she would teach me one way or another, and being met with my equal determination not to ruin her dinner, she finally told me “Fine, watch this time, but next time you WILL make it!” So, I watched — from a distance.
When finished, she told me to put it into the preheated oven. I told her that I shouldn’t even touch it. She said, “Don’t be silly!” Then, with hands on her hips, she gave me that look — the one that all mother’s perfect (as I eventually did upon becoming a mother) in which you don’t dare disobey. So, reluctantly, I put it in the oven.
When it came time, she took it out of the oven and the look on her face was incredulous. Without saying a word, she carried it over to the garbage can and dumped it in. We never spoke of it to one another ever again. We went out for dinner that evening.
I can make ANYTHING from scratch — except a traditional oven baked meatloaf — the one thing absolutely anyone should be able to make!
Eventually, my husband, Mark, was also just as determined to teach me.
Even with him micro-managing the entire affair and each time ensuring me that it was done perfectly and would come out of the oven just as good as if he’d done it himself — three attempts ended in three epic failures.
One day, he asked me to come into the kitchen and turn on the faucet for him so he could wash his meat covered hands. I did so and promptly left. However, his meatloaf didn’t turn out — for the first and only time ever.
My late husband finally came to believe in my “meatloaf curse” and he was always the one who made the meatloaf — and I was actually banned from even being in the kitchen whenever he did so.
We happily and peacefully enjoyed many years of his absolutely perfect traditional oven baked meatloaf dinners.
If he wasn’t up to making but everybody wanted meatloaf, they got my crock pot version.
This is his recipe —
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef, room temperature
1 lb pork breakfast or Italian pork sausage, room temperature
1 can (approx. 10 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 finely minced or crushed clove
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp Lee & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, lightly beat egg with whisk.
Whisk in the next three ingredients.
Add onion, beef, and pork sausage; using hands mix together thoroughly. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients, stirring to dissolve sugar and blend seasonings.
Massage 1/2 cup sauce into the meat mixture to well and thoroughly combine.
Shape meatloaf and place in center of a lightly spray oiled 13 x 9 casserole dish or baking pan.
Spread remaining sauce mixture over top of meat loaf.
Bake for 75 minutes loosely covered with foil. Remove foil for last 10 to 15 minutes of baking time. Internal temperature should be 160 F degrees with thermometer inserted into center at thickest portion.
Let rest 5 to 10 minutes (to allow additional juices to finally stop flowing) before draining off excess liquid, transferring to a serving dish if desired, and slicing.