Mid-week meatloaf triplets

Three finished meatloaves on a wooden cutting boardHubby came home with a lot of ground beef this week. I think he was trying to tell me that he was really missing red meat, as we generally do a lot with chicken. But after making my pot roasts a few weekends ago for him and my mom, I think he’s got the “red meat bug” — which is absolutely fine because variety is the spice of life!

But what to do with it? One package went into a pasta sauce over fettucini noodles at the start of the week. Nothing fancy, but it was filling and it was a homemade sauce that wasn’t super-loaded with preservatives and such. These three? If I didn’t do something with them soon, they were heading for the freezer and would end up in another sauce, likely. I didn’t want burgers. But hey, wait… what about meatloaf?  It’s easy to make. I had all the ingredients on-hand. And really, we don’t have meatloaf often.  So as you can see, I made not one, but three! Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs ground beef (you could use lean, extra lean or even go for turkey or chicken if  you really want to avoid red meat)

    The following ingredients sit on a cutting board: Stove Top stuffing, 2 eggs, A-1 steak sauce, 2/3 cup onions, 3 lbs ground beef, Worcestershire sauce and 1 package onion soup mix.

    All the ingredients you will need (missing: pepper).

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box Stove Top stuffing (any kind you have on hand)
  • 2/3 to 1 C finely diced onions
  • 6 Tbsp A-1 steak sauce (or whatever steak or bbq sauce you have on hand)
  • about 6-8 good dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1/4-1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C of your favourite bbq sauce (for brushing onto the loaves)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Ground beef, onions and a bunch of other ingredients mixed together into a large ball in a bowl.

    Meatball mixture is all mixed!

    Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.

  3. In a very large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients from the beef to the soup mix by hand. This might be hard on the hands because the stuffing mix is rather hard to start, but once everything starts to mix together, it will get easier. Use your own judgement, but you may need to add the 1/4-1/2 C water just to soften things up a bit (I did!). When it’s all mixed, it should look like the picture.
  4. Allow the meat 10 minutes to rest at this  point, as all that mixing sometimes makes it tough.
  5. By this point, your oven should be ready, so split the meat mixture into three equal parts and form them into “loaves” on your baking sheet.
  6. Three meatloaves have been brushed with barbecue sauce and are ready to bake!

    Ready to bake!

    Take the barbecue sauce you measured out and lightly brush this evenly over the tops and sides of your three meatloaves. No, there’s no gloopy tomato soup, ketchup or thick layer of barbecue sauce on mine. You can make it that way if you wish, but my recipe just doesn’t go there (as I don’t like it that way).

  7. Pop these into the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, checking the internal temperature atthe 30-minute mark. Cook it to your preference, but hubby and I prefer ours to be well-done, so I always watch for 165 F. Use your own judgement. Cook longer if you need to, but if the outsides of your loaves are starting to get a little dark, feel free to tent foil over them to prevent too much further browning.

    Two slices of meatloaf topped with gravy, accompanied by green peas and warm potato salad.

    Bon appetite!

  8. Allow the loaves 5 minutes to rest before you slice them up.

Slice up and serve with your favourite side-dishes. I paired mine with my warm potato salad and some boiled peas, then ladled on a bit of packaged gravy (I had some homemade stuff in the freezer that I forgot about that I could have used, though).

You might be saying, “But why is there no salt?” The stuffing mix and the soup mix likely have more than enough salt for most people but by all means, if you’d like to sprinkle some into your mix, feel free.

You might also be asking, “Why stuffing mix?” I’ve never really cared too much for plain bread pieces in a meatloaf (it always seems like an oasis of blandness in the middle of the meatloaf, imo) and regular breadcrumbs sometimes seem to add a bit of grittiness I don’t care for either. I got the idea of the  stuffing mix while going through my cupboards. I stumbled across it and thought it was a nice compromise between bread crumbs and bread or crackers, as it gives its own seasoning profile to the meatloaf.

But the great thing about meatloaf is that you can play with it, so please do play with it! 🙂

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