Since meatloaf is one of my son’s favorite meals, I make it quiet often. It’s not only good for dinner, but makes great sandwiches. So it was inevitable that some of my husband’s business associates, coming over for an impromptu dinner while visiting our great city, would get the “meatloaf” treatment. I have to admit that most of them were pretty good actors because when told that dinner was meatloaf they never even flinched. I guess they figured they could eat the mashed potatoes and what ever veggie was being served, and maybe choke down some of that meatloaf. Like I said, they only told me the truth after their 3rd piece. So I guess it must be pretty good.
So today I played like the Demon Barber of Fleet Street as I ground up my meat for the loaf, and another 5 pounds for the freezer. Yes, I grind my own meat. Why? Well, there’s this e-coli thing for one, I know how clean my stuff is, I know I wash my hands after I go to the bathroom, I know that I wash my counters and grinder parts in hot soapy water. I know that. Plus, I buy my meat in bulk or on sale, I can control the amount of fat I have in it, so I get super lean ground beef, fresh today for $1.99 per pound. Try to get that at your local supermarket. Oh yeah, and I get to pick my meat. Not just accept whatever scrapes and pieces they have decided to grind together. OK…I have to clean up a few “spatters” but that can be avoided by putting a bit of a freeze on the meat; something I just didn’t bother with today.
There are two ways you can grind your meat. The best way is with a meat grinder. You can get one with a hand crank for not very much money (about $30 – $40) and think of the exercise benefits, it’s a good shoulder workout; or you can get an electric one for around $150.00; but I have my KitchenAid standing mixer, (and as my friend Poppy says in her blog FunnyorSnot, a KitchenAid standing mixer is something you fight for in your divorce settlement) so I just use the optional grinder attachment…it works great. If you don’t have a meat grinder, you can use your food processor, using on/off pulses until the meat is finely chopped, but that is best saved for small jobs, a pound or less. I wouldn’t try to do 5 pounds of meat like that.
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound lean ground pork
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped parsley (depends on how much you love parsley)
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs (start with the 1/2 cup and work up as needed)
- 1/2 cup (approximately) ketchup
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and using your clean hands mix well. To test the flavors, take a small spoonful; form it into a meatball, and put into a microwave safe dish, microwave for 30 seconds. Taste; adjust your seasonings as needed. If the meatball falls apart add a bit more of the breadcrumbs.
- Put into a 9 x 11x 2 casserole pan. Pat it together to form an oblong loaf, it should sit in the middle of the pan. Do not use a loaf pan.
- Place in a 350 degree oven and cook for about 2 hours, or until cooked through. Allow to sit 10 – 15 minutes before slicing.