Meatloaf with Saltines

Ingredients:

1 T butter
1 large sweet onion, minced
1 large green bell pepper, minced
2 lbs ground chuck
1 lb ground pork
20 smashed Saltine crackers
3/4 cup ketchup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 t ground black pepper
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1/4 t dried mustard

Directions:

In a large pan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Once that is spreading out nicely, add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté until both veggies are softened but not browned. Remove them to a bowl and put in the refrigerator to cool off for about half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° F

Spray two 8×11 bread loaf pans with your favorite non-stick spray.

Put the meat in a bowl, pinching off a bit of chuck then a bit of pork, until you have finished breaking up both packages of meat and spread them rather evenly throughout the bowl. This will prevent you from smashing the meat overmuch which leads to dense meatloaf.

Add the smashed Saltines, 3/4 cup ketchup, eggs, ground black pepper, and the cooled off sautéed veggies.

Use your hands and mix the meat well with the rest of the ingredients. Then divide evenly between the two loaf pans.

Mix together the 3/4 cup ketchup with brown sugar and mustard. Spread out thinly and evenly between the two loafs.

Pop the pans in the oven for about an hour, or until the center of the meat reaches 155° F.

Remove from the oven and let the meat stand in the pans for 10 minutes.

Use two flexible spatulas and carefully lift the loaf out of each pan and place upon a platter.

Meatloaf is, of course, superb with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Alternative directions:

Use one great big huge pan and put all the meat inside. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Follow the same temp and standing instructions.

Divide the meat out into 3-4 smaller loaf shapes and freeze them uncooked. Place one frozen loaf inside a small casserole dish and put it in the fridge for a couple days where it will thaw nicely. When you come home from work, just pop it in the oven at 350° F for about 45 minutes or until it is 155° in the center. This makes meatloaf an easy dinner for a smaller or working family.

An alternative to brown sugar and mustard is to add a bit of honey to the ketchup, delicious.

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