Posted by: Kelsey Avers | October 18, 2010

OMG Meatloaf!

Alright, I’ve outdone myself this time, I must say. Tonight I truly made what felt like a true meal; which I haven’t been able to do in a while. It wasn’t any of the leftover spaghetti or rice and sausage that I’ve been living off of for the past week because of my busy schedule. I finally got to take advantage of this rainy Sunday and make a nice hot meal. Meatloaf seemed the only way to do it!

I’ve never made meatloaf on my own before, so I was a little hesitant. I haven’t eaten it in at least two years.

There are tons and tons of different recipes that people follow, whether they be “Mom’s Recipe” or just the one recipe they’ve really grown to like. After doing a lot of searching online for many of these recipes and looking through all of the different ingredient lists, I realized I could make this the hard, more expensive way with the Worcester sauce, fancy bread crumbs and all that other stuff that is hard to pronounce, or I could do it the “Sushi Taste on a Ramen Budget Way,” which obviously makes more sense, since I have about 35 bucks in my checking account right now.

I looked into various recipes, took a little bit from each one, and calculated which ingredients would go well together without breaking the bank. And it came out AWESOME.

The ingredient list is perfect for college students or any of us that are on a budget: Besides the Lipton Onion Soup Mix, all of the ingredients are staples that every college student should have in their pantry or fridge. No fancy sauces necessary – these ingredients make their own.

Quick and simple, the STRB way!

My biggest recommendation for this recipe would be to prepare it about 5 hours before making it. Follow all of the preparation ingredients, cover the pan in foil and let it set in the fridge until cooking time. Not only will these leave you with less dishes to do while you’re trying to get your own dinner on the table (or desk, if you eat-read-and-study like me), but it will also allow all of the ingredients to marinate in the meat, which of course, makes it even better!

Ingredients:
– 1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
– 2 pounds lean ground beef
– 1 large egg
– 2/3 cup milk
– 3 Tablespoons catsup
– 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
– 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
– Handful of breadcrumbs (this is optional, it tastes great with or without, but the breadcrumbs just add a little “pizzazz”!)

This pan is perfect! Lifts the meatloaf right out of the pan - no scraping necessary.

Directions:
– Preheat the oven to 350F. (Obviously if you’re making this ahead of time you can skip this step and go back to it once you’re ready to cook).
–  Mix the onion soup mix, ground beef, egg and milk together. (For the sake of making cooking fun, mixing it with your hands is pretty fun! Cold, but fun!)
– Form the combination into a well packed loaf shape in a 13 X 9 X 2 loaf pan. (My pan’s dimensions were a bit different than this, but it worked just fine. Usually all meatloaf pans are pretty standard.)
– Combine the rest of the ingredients and spoon onto the top of the meatloaf. Stab a fork into parts of the top of the meatloaf so some of this sauce can sink into it.
– Bake uncovered, for about an hour. When done, take the meatloaf out of the pan and place on a serving plate. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

– COOKING TIPS
The most accurate way of knowing if your meatloaf is ready and the hamburger is cooked all the way is to purchase a meat thermometer, but if you’re like me and don’t have one, do it the old fashioned way:
–> After about 55 minutes of cooking, check and see if the middle is still pink but cutting a small slit in the middle of the loaf. If it is still very slightly pink, you’re probably fine to take it out. When you let it set for 10 minutes, the meat continues to cook throughout the loaf. Doing this also prevents you from drying out the meat.
–> Another way to tell if your meatloaf is cooked thoroughly is by pressing a fork to the top of the loaf. When you press, an indication of a fully cooked meatloaf is if the juices are not running red, but instead run a clearish-brown color. When you press with the fork, the top of the loaf should be firm, also an indication of a fully-cooked meatloaf.

Compliment with your favorite side dishes and enjoy! (In this case, I seasoned green beans with butter and lemon and also included Magic Potatoes on my plate!)

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