January 27th, 2018

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Brown sugar meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those meals people joke about a lot. There’s good reason for that – dry meatloaf is awful. Properly made, on the other hand, meatloaf is a wonderful meal. My family loves this recipe for brown sugar meatloaf.

I often make a double recipe when I do this – one to cook that night, the other for the freezer. It freezes well, and that means the next time we want meatloaf, it takes hardly any effort. Best of all, making a double batch is hardly any more work than making a single. It’s always nice to have a few meals ready in the freezer. They make busy days so much nicer.

I hardly ever get complaints from my kids about meatloaf. The only one who does complain can be soothed with the addition of ketchup to her meal.

The only bad part about meatloaf is the prep and cook time. It’s not something you can make if you’re in a rush. Cooking time usually runs about an hour.

Meatloaf is a great recipe to have the kids help make. They’ll either love the mess or be completely horrified at how raw meat feels. Either one works for me. They have to get comfortable with all that sometime.

I start out by sprinkling some brown sugar in the bottom of my pan and topping it with some ketchup. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but I think it helps. I don’t use a loaf pan. I prefer my 8×8 baking pan. I’m not going for pretty looks here. It gives me more flexibility on the size of the brown sugar meatloaf.

Then it’s time to get my hands dirty and mix up the ingredients. Everything except the brown sugar and ketchup go into a large mixing bowl. If you’re doing a double recipe so you can freeze one for later, it needs a pretty big bowl. Get your hands in there and mix those ingredients together.

brown sugar meatloaf ingredients

When everything is sufficiently mixed, make the meat mixture into a loaf or two. If you made one for the freezer, put it in a freezer bag and get it put away. Otherwise, put the loaf into the pan on top of the brown sugar and ketchup.

Wash your hands really well. They’re a mess after handling all that meat.

Sprinkle the top of the meatloaf with brown sugar and spread ketchup over the top.

brown sugar meatloaf in pan

Put the whole thing in the oven and bake for about an hour or until the interior temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees F.

brown sugar meatloaf temperature

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1-1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cups oatmeal

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spread half the brown sugar in your baking pan, topped by half the ketchup.

  3. In a bowl, thoroughly mix remaining ingredients, except ketchup and brown sugar. Shape into loaf and place in pan.

  4. Cover with remaining brown sugar and ketchup.

  5. Bake for 1 hour or until interior temperature reaches 160 degrees F

Recipe Notes

Double this recipe and put the extra meatloaf into the freezer for an easy meal another day.

August 8th, 2017

Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup low sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
dash thyme leaves
1 cup sliced carrots
1 sliced onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
1-1/4 tbsp flour
2-3 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Brown ground beef in large skillet. Drain excess grease. Add 1 cup broth, pepper, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and onions. Cover and simmer until carrots are slightly tender. Add peas and corn and continue to simmer until all vegetables are cooked.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup broth and flour. Mix until smooth.
  5. Add to beef and vegetables. Simmer until slightly thickened.
  6. Place beef mixture in bottom of casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes.

This one takes a long time to make, but it’s wonderful! Pretty healthy too if you stick with the lean ground beef.

August 8th, 2017

Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion (one large)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 71/2 oz can tomatoes, cut up
2 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 6 oz con tomato paste
2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
6 dried lasagna noodles
1 beaten egg
2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
3 tbsp snipped fresh parsley (optional)
approx 1 lb sliced or shredded mozzarella

  1. For sauce, cook meat, onion, and garlic till meat is brown. Drain fat.
  2. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and 1/4 tsp pepper bring to boiling, reduce heat, simmer 15 min, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, cook noodles for 10 to 12 min or till tender, drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. For filling combine the egg, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and the parsley.
  5. Layer half the noodles, spread with half the cheese filling, half the mozzarella, half the meat sauce, repeat.
  6. Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 min or till heated through. Let stand 10 min before serving.

Make ahead directions are as above except after assembling, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake covered at 375 for 40 min. Uncover, bake for 20 more min or till hot. Let stand 10 min.

Hints: For the parsley, a smaller amount of dried parsley works just as well. And I usually find it easier to make it before boiling the noodles so that assembly can begin right after the noodles are done. For the meat sauce, I like to simmer it covered for at least a couple hours if I’m feeling that ambitious.

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