Sunday, December 13, 2009

Italian-style Meatloaf (made with Angus beef)

Some recipes you create, some you find, and some just happen. This recipe is one of the latter. It started when I found ground Angus beef on sale at the butcher shop in my local grocery store. I bought a couple pounds and decided to make a meatloaf. I had originally asked the butcher for some breakfast sausage (a pound), but he misunderstood me and reached for the Italian sausage. Rather than stop him, I thought that the combination might work.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of Angus ground beef
  • 1 pound of Italian sausage
  • 2 tubes (half a box) of saltine crackers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sprigs of parsley, chopped
  • fresh pepper to taste


Preparation

Pulse the onion and green pepper in a food processor until they're moderately chopped. You don't want big chunks in your meatloaf, but you don't want them so finely chopped that they're invisible. Empty the food processor into a large bowl.


Crush the tubes of crackers with your hands, just enough so that they will fit in the food processor. Pulse the crackers in the food processor until they are smaller than half inch chunks. Mix the crackers with the onion and pepper along with two eggs and 1/2 cup milk.


The resulting mixture should be about the consistency of your hamburger. Too dry and meatloaf fall apart, too wet and the meatloaf will be squishy. Add the oregano, garlic, and parsley. I used a garlic press for the garlic, but you could also pulse it in the food processor with the onions and peppers. Break up the Angus and sausage and begin mixing with your hands. I find it easiest to use a folding motion, moving my hand under the bottom of the mass and folding it over on itself. I find 15-20 times is sufficient to mix the ingredients.


Divide the mixture in half, creating 2 roughly equal loaves. Bake in pyrex pan large enough to let the grease drain away from the loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. If you like, 10 minutes before they are done drizzle the tops with ketchup. Remove from pan as soon as they are done so they don't sit in the grease. Each loaf serves four, so freeze one if you like and have it later for an easy-cooking night!