I will admit I’m absolutely obsessed with meatloaf. I don’t recall ever eating it as a child and always being jealous when the children on 1980s sitcoms would disparagingly choke it down with a glass of milk. Same goes for tuna casserole, but I have had that as an adult and it actually is disgusting. But I digress. I remember when meatloaf came back in style when the whole “comfort food” movement started taking over the Internet. The first time I made meatloaf I was already a grown up in my mid-30s.
Now it’s one of my favourite things to make; I have a few different recipes that I like, but this one is the easiest! And with all of the recipes I share here, is really adaptable to all palates. I like to stick to the ground beef and Italian sausage mixture, but you can substitute any meat or “meat alternative” that you are into (imagine ground tofu and mushrooms if you’re into that sort of thing).
Readers who are meatloaf “purists,” you will notice that my recipe is missing a pretty standard ingredient: eggs.
For whatever reason, I just don’t love the addition of egg and have noticed that leaving it out gives a more meaty texture. Call me crazy I think that egg is traditionally used as a binder for the meat and all the other goodness. This meatloaf is amazing hot out of the oven, but my favourite way to eat it is as a sandwich; a cold slice of meatloaf between two slices of fresh bread that have been spread with a spicy barbecue mayo sauce – so good.
I usually make the meatloaf the night before, and reheat for dinner the next night, as the flavours tend to deepen, but I will leave that totally up to you.
Grown up BBQ Meatloaf
2 large cloves garlic
2 stalks of celery + leaves if you have them on the head
1 small onion
1 cup oats (I used Rogers Ancient Grain Blend for something extra)
1.5 lb lean ground beef
3 links Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
¼ cup barbecue sauce + more for glazing
1 tsp each salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F and prepare a standard 9×13” loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a food processor, chop the vegetables. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the vegetables as finely as you can. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients using your hands (remember to take off your rings before doing this!) Form the meat mixture into a little football and place in the prepared pan. Spread a layer of extra barbecue sauce on top and then cover the loaf pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake for about an hour, or until a thermometer reads 155 F. Remove the foil, add a bit more barbecue sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes. If you are going to serve hot out of the oven, remove from oven let it stand for about 15 minutes before slicing. Otherwise, let the meatloaf cool completely and recover before refrigerating it overnight.
To eat it the best way; slice the loaf into manageable slices the next day and serve with a spicy barbecue mayo, (made by combining ¼ cup of your favorite mayonnaise with 1- 2 tbsp of barbecue sauce.) Spread two slices of freshly baked crusty bread with your sauce, throw in a slab of meatloaf and prepare to eat the best thing you’ve made in a long time! This recipe freezes really well too – if you pre-slice the loaf and wrap the individual pieces in foil, then store in a freezer bag, you can heat up small portions in the frying pan or on a cookie sheet in the oven super easily.
Shannon Yacyshyn is a local foodie. You can find Kitchen Confessions Red Deer on Facebook.