I have to admit when I opened The Pioneer Woman Cooks for the first time and saw the recipe for meatloaf I shuttered.
You have to understand that meatloaf has not crossed the table of the Wilkes household for at least 12 years.
We had an “encounter” with meatloaf 12 years ago that has left us all pretty scarred and we have been unable to bring ourselves to make or eat meatloaf since then. I guess you could say we have meatloaf phobia!
You see, someone very kindly brought dinner to us one night, it was meatloaf. Except, instead of being brown, the usual color of meatloaf, it was grey. I don’t know about you but I just don’t think food should be grey! No one was able to eat it and no one in our family has eaten meatloaf since.
I had made the committment to cook every recipe in The Pioneer Woman Cooks though so I knew I was going to have to make meatloaf. Maybe I could make it and take it to another family?
No, I decided we needed to get over our meatloaf phobia!
I prepared the family. I announced at the dinner table, the night before, that I would be making meatloaf the next night. Tessa replied , “I’m scared!”
Pioneer Women’s recipe is very similiar to the one I use to make, years ago, before our life altering meatloaf experience. She adds bacon on top too which I hadn’t done before.
And then covers it with a yummy, sweet mixture of ketchup and brown sugar that Pioneer Women calls tomato gravy. I am a ketchup fan and believe anything can taste better with ketchup on it!
So I baked up the meatloaf, served it with a baked potato and spinach salad. I also used the leftover tomato gravy as a dipping sauce. I then sat at the table and waited. Waited for them to take their first bite and see their reaction.
I was pleasantly surprised – they ate it and even said they liked it! Jim enjoyed the leftovers the next few days in a meatloaf sandwich. I halfed the recipe and we still had lots of leftovers.
I have to admit, it was good, but I’m still not a huge meatloaf fan. I think it is more of a texture issue for me – surprise, surprise. I am glad I tried it and maybe we got rid of our meatloaf phobia.
If you are meatloaf fan this is a good one – give it a try!
- 1 C milk
- 6 bread slices
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 C grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp seasoned salt such as Lawry's
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 C minced flat-leaf parsley
- 4 eggs beaten
- 8-12 thin bacon slices
- Tomato Gravy
- 1 1/2 C ketchup
- 6 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- Dash or two of hot sauce - more if you like heat
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Pour the milk over the bread and allow it to soak in or several minutes
- Place the ground beef, milk soaked bread, Parmesan cheese, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper and parsley in a large mixing bowl
- Pour in the eggs
- With clean hands, mix the ingredients until combined well
- Form the mixture into a loaf shape and place on a broiler pan, this will allow the fat from the meat to drain
- Line the bottom of the pan with foil to make clean up easier
- Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf
- Make the tomato gravy
- Pour the ketchup into a small bowl, add brown sugar and dry mustard and splash of hot sauce
- Stir the mixture until well combined
- Pour one third of the tomato gravy over the top of the meatloaf
- Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another one third of the remaining tomato gravy over the meatloaf. Bake for an additional 15 minutes
- Serve with the remaining tomato gravy on the side as a dipping sauce
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