Meatloaf Made With Local Love

McConnell Meatloaf

When I think of meatloaf I’m reminded of that mystery meat served in school lunches.  Remember that stuff that when you walked into your school in the morning you could smell it cooking.  And, that aroma would linger all day long in the halls.

That experience at school must have scarred me for life because I never ate my mother’s meatloaf and I always brought my lunch to school on meatloaf day.

Everyone always raved about mom’s meatloaf, but I would refuse to try it.  It wasn’t until my son Caston was born that I actually tried her meatloaf creation.  I remember the day so well.  Our son was only about a month old and I was searching through the freezer for a meal.  (My mother and I made a lot of frozen meals so life would be easy for awhile for this first time mommy).  I saw meatloaf and said, “Why not?”

My mother made a lot of meatloaf and froze portions enough for Charlie and I.  (She’s a GEM…a true GEM!)  Mom knew how much Charlie LOVED meatloaf and that I never made it (because of my mystery meat schoolyard scare).  Again, she’s a GEM and a heck of a mother-in-law.

That night my husband and I enjoyed in mom’s family meatloaf…and for the first time ever – I devoured the delicious meal.

Over the past couple years I’ve tried cooking meatloaf many ways, but I have to say that my favorite is a mixture of ground pork and beef.

Here is my own little meatloaf creation made with lots of local goodies from the local farmers market.

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup of minced red onion
1 carrot, minced
1 celery rib, minced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup of minced green onion, including tops
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 pound of ground beef (chuck)
1  pound of Italian  ground pork sausage
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 350° F.  In a large skillet melt butter and add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and green onions.  Stir and cook for 6 minutes.  Stir again and cook until the veggies are tender.  Add pepper, salt, 2/3 cup ketchup, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Cook for another minute and remove from heat.

In a separate bowl combine beef, Italian pork sausage, eggs, fresh breadcrumbs and cooked veggies.  Mix with your hands and combine well.  Then add fresh parsley and toss.

Coat a loaf pan with a little butter and press mixture into the pan.  Cover the top with about 1/3 cup of ketcup.  Bake for 55 minutes.  Remove and let set for about 30 minutes.  Slice, serve and enjoy!

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