Friday, November 21, 2008


When the weather turns cold, I love using the oven to cook meals. The kitchen feels warm and cozy and there's something about oven-cooked meals that's just comforting. Meatloaf is the ultimate guy comfort food, though. I'm still amazed at how men just go ga-ga over meatloaf. This is such an easy dinner. Just sprinkle your veggies around the meatloaf and you have your meal. You can quarter your potatoes (white, yellow or sweet), leaving skins on, or use the baby Yukon golds or fingerlings. Brussels sprouts or broccoli are both great roasted. Try quartered onions, baby carrots (or carrot chunks) or anything else that suits your fancy. Put them in about 20-25 minutes before the meatloaf is done. We're not gravy people, so I don't make a gravy for the meatloaf. This recipe makes a moist but firm loaf that slices easily for sandwiches the next day. And my whole-wheat-phobic hubby has not caught on that he's eating some turkey and whole grains in this meatloaf, in case you're thinking this might be too healthy tasting. You can use beef, pork and veal or beef and pork or all beef, if you'd rather.

Source: Judy's Kitchen

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp. finely chopped roasted red pepper (or fresh bell pepper, any color)
2 tsp. freshly grated garlic
3/4 cup shredded fresh whole-wheat bread (about 1 slice)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup milk or water
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
1-3/4 lbs. ground meat (combo of beef, pork and 93% lean turkey)

GLAZE: 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

In large heavy skillet, saute the onion and pepper in oil over medium heat till transparent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute briefly, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Remove from heat and cool.
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Add shredded bread, oats and milk to cooled skillet, stirring to combine all ingredients. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, including meat, and mix lightly but thoroughly till everything is well combined.
Form mixture into one or two loaves (I do two loaves and freeze one.) and place on the prepared pan. Mix glaze ingredients together and spoon over top of loaf. Place in preheated oven for 1-1/4 hours, or till thoroughly cooked (meat thermometer should register 165F, and meatloaf should rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.) During last 20 minutes, add any veggies you like: quartered or small potatoes, white or sweet; brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, etc.

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