Monday, March 5, 2012

comfort food: 1984 style

I'm always looking for recipes that make my life easier and make dinner taste better.  I hate that so many of our dinners come from boxes and I don't have control over the ingredients in what my kids are eating.  Time is such an issue for us on the weeknights that I end up throwing something together last second.  I need to take the time to plan ahead and shop accordingly.

Anyway, I've always been an "I only like my mom's (and mother-in-law's) meatloaf" kind of girl.  I don't order it in restaurants because it always sounds funky in the description.  I've been buying the Stouffer's frozen one for a couple of years, but it's not my mama's meatloaf.  I tried making a meatloaf a few weeks ago...blech.

Somehow I came across the recipe I'm about to share with you a while ago and have been meaning to try it.  It won a contest, so it has to be decent, right?  And it's a crock pot meal - which means it saves you time and effort.  Right?

Is it just me, or does "crock pot meatloaf" give off a 1984 vibe?  Yeah, thought so too.

I used 12 ounces of ground pork sausage and 1 pound of 85% lean ground beef.

Then you'll need 2 beaten eggs, 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%), 2/3 cup bread crumbs (I used plain), 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage, and 2 tablespoons of grated onion (I left this out, as I hate them with a passion). 

Combine everything above in a bowl.

I like to mix it up the old fashioned way.  Sometimes hands work better than spoons.  P.S. Don't forget to take off your rings, if you wear them.  Otherwise...ewwww.

Toss that big ol' loaf in your crock pot, throw the lid on, and set that sucker on low heat.  

It probably helps if your crock pot actually IS from 1984, like the one pictured here. 

Go live your life for 5 or 6 hours.  It helps to pass the time if you can find a couple of mess making, yet adorable, little boys to trash your entire home in the time it took you to get that loaf in the pot.  

I let mine cook for 5 1/2 hours before starting the sauce.  It's just 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. 

Mix it up and spread over the meatloaf.  Turn the slow cooker up to high and set the timer for 15 minutes. 

Here's how I served it up: 

Y'all.  It may not be the prettiest (it's always hard to get that first piece of meatloaf out of the middle, huh?) but it was deeee-lishus.  My hunt for the perfect meatloaf ends here.  It was very moist and full of flavor.  The meat itself was tender and savory while the sauce was sweet and had a little kick.  Not spicy, but packed with flavor.  I loved it - and so did everyone else at the table, as evidenced by their requests for seconds.  

I'll be making it again.  And again.  YUM-O.  Here's the link to the recipe I followed (but my pictures are better). 

Let me know if you try it and what you thought!
happy eating, 

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