I don’t necessarily recall ever eating meatloaf when I was a little girl. I’m sure I did, I mean who hasn’t tried it? But as far back as I can remember, I had never tried it until a few years ago when I made my very own for the first time.
Meatloaf is one of those meals that make you think of the all American family. For me, it reminds me of the Brady Bunch. Alice would spend hours making that 10 pound meatloaf (does this show my age?)
It reminds me of all things retro, families from 1950’s-1970’s where everyone sat down to dinner together once the husband came home from work. Way before everyone was so consumed with tv, internet, smart phones and cyberspace.
I’ve never considered my family to be your “typical” American family, but then what’s typical these days? We are a blended family, my husband and I came into this relationship much like the Brady Bunch, we each had children. Then, we had two more together. I joke all the time and call us the “Harris Bunch”, but with a modern twist- his mine, and ours.
But much like those retro families, he does work and I do stay home with the kids and cook, clean, grocery shop, parent/teacher conference and everything else that comes with that SAHM title.
I digress. My point is, meatloaf reminds me of all things family, and those traditional family values.
Now, my husband LOVES meatloaf. This surprises me. For me it’s just never been one of those things you think of and crave. So although I never recalled trying it, I wasn’t in a hurry to either.
That quickly changed the day I decided to make it. I reviewed a few different recipes and ways of preparing it. A lot of people make it their own way. Some add this, some add that. There’s different ingredients and techniques so I figured I’d wing it and make it my own way. I had nothing to base it on, but once I made it my husband fell in love with me all over again! He loves my meatloaf and even swears (dare I say?) it’s the best he’s ever had. AND, it’s made with ground turkey!
So, while my family may not be your traditional family, it’s nice to try those traditional comforts together. And comfort food is exactly my style, they don’t call me “Mama Harris” for nothing!
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 2 pounds ground turkey, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 large carrot, peeled and shredded with a vegetable or cheese grater
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup milk, 2% or Whole Milk
- 1 cup quick oats oatmeal
- 1 cup saltine crackers, crushed and crumbled (about 16 crackers)
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, italian seasoning, cumin, to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup barbeque sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
|Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Start by warming up a pan, chop up your onion and saute with one tablespoon butter until the onion is soft.
|Once the onion is sauteed, put the ground meat in a large bowl.
Add the onion, the shredded carrot, the bell pepper and the green onion.
|Mix it all together, add the spices and season to your taste.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and the beaten egg and mix.
|Now add your milk. Mix well.|
|Add the quick oats.|
|Then add the saltines.
This is all helps absorb some of the wetness and hold the loaf together to give it some shape.
You don’t want it too “held together” that’s when you end up with a dry meatloaf. Yuck!
|Now the loaf has a nice color to it, and a little more structure.
Now you can cover the top of the loaf with your sauce.
|Don’t use all your sauce. Just spread enough sauce over the top so there’s a nice even layer.
Pop it back in the oven for another 45 minutes or so.
The total cook time should be about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
|Let it cool for a bit. You don’t want it to fall apart once you start slicing, which it will if it’s still too hot.|
|And there you go! For someone who never thought much about meatloaf, I’ve been eating it every day since I made this (2 days ago).|
|My husband likes to drip the leftover sauce over his slices. For the leftovers he just slices the loaf, covers it in the remaining sauce and slaps it between two pieces of bread.