Meatloaf is one of those things that everyone is picky about. You like your mom’s, your grandmother’s, your father’s, your whoever’s recipe. And that’s it. Right? Nothing else even comes close, and hot damn, you’re not trying anyone else’s because it just won’t be the same.
Welllllllll…..I’m going to prove you wrong. Because mine is that good. THAT GOOD.
I’ve had countless discussions with friends about what makes the best meatloaf. It’s always a debate. Doubtless many of their meatloaves are delicious. But they’re not mine, and they’re not easy, and that’s just two strikes against them.
My mom taught me how to make meatloaf over the phone one night. It was after college – I’d watched her do it a thousand times, but all I knew was that she used oats and ketchup. Seriously, the only reason we even had oats was for meatloaf….we sure as hell didn’t eat them. (To this day, I’m still all about the instant, which, as Jimmie tells me, is a misnomer, because the quick cook oats take the same length of time. Whatever.)
So anyway, I had my heart set on meatloaf, and Mom wasn’t around, and I had all this ground beef and some oats and ketchup and no clue what to do next. I called her up, got the “recipe,” and set to work. And on my first try, it was delicious. FIRST TRY PEOPLE.
Over the years, I’ve modified it only slightly. I made a few adjustments to our tastes, but the tried and true recipe stays the same. Every time I make it, Jimmie tells me I need to make it more often. And even more impressive, he prefers my meatloaf to his mother’s. (SHOCKING, RIGHT???)
For the folks who are new here, let me let you in on a little Casey secret. I’m incredibly lazy. I routinely take shortcuts in my cooking, and any recipe with more than 5 ingredients makes my head hurt. So for the most part, the recipes you’ll see on this blog are the “make it, stick it in the oven, and forgettaboutit” variety. This meatloaf is no different.
Before we go forward, I suppose I should back up (like that?) and explain. Yes, I know. You’ve never heard of using oats in meatloaf. Doesn’t everyone know that you’re supposed to use bread crumbs? What’s wrong with you? I can hear you now.
I tried it with bread crumbs once. Barf.
For all of you who swear you hate meatloaf, I guarantee it’s because the only meatloaf you’ve ever eaten was made with bread crumbs. I apologize to all I’m about to offend. Bread crumbs = soggy mushy meatloaf that tastes like….well, bread crumbs. I don’t care if you use store bought crumbs or rip up little pieces of bread, bread in meatloaf just isn’t right.
Using oats gives meatloaf texture for one thing – it’s not soggy. The oats bulk up the meatloaf, so you end up using less and getting a firmer loaf, and it has more of a meat consistency – and less of a spam consistency. It also doesn’t hide the flavor of the meat to use oats. And since oats are good for you, you get a little nutritional boost too (maybe). Have I convinced you yet?
I won’t lie and say it’s super healthy, but it’s meatloaf. I used 80/20 ground round, because that’s what I had….turkey would be lighter, though probably wouldn’t be as yummy (and you’d probably want to adjust the cook time).
I said this meatloaf was simple. I also said that I hated recipes with more than 5 ingredients…and here I am giving you 6. You can skip the pepper if you’d like – I don’t usually use it, but thought I’d try it tonight. (Good choice.)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole grain oats
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3 tbsps Worcestershire Sauce
- Mustard powder
- 2 tbsps ketchup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine beef, eggs, oats, 1/2 cup ketchup, and Worcestershire in large bowl. Mix until well blended.
Shape into loaf and place in glass baking dish. Brush remaining ketchup on top and sides. Sprinkle top with pepper and mustard.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered additional 15-20 minutes.
Serve with your favorite green vegetables and a side of mashed potatoes (or cauliflower, like we did). Comfort food at its finest!