I bought The Pioneer Woman cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, this Fall. I also went to her book signing when she came to Kansas City. We Midwest girls must stick together. The first recipe I tried from the cookbook was her meat loaf. As good as it was, it really was not as good as mine. However, the sauce on top was killer. I will be using it on my meat loaf in the future.
My theory on meat loaf is: the meat loaf you were raised on is probably the recipe of meat loaf you love. Notice I said love. There are lots of good meat loaf recipes, but only one meat loaf recipe to love. You need to decide which one is yours. So, to help with the process, here is a very good (my opinion) meat loaf recipe to try. It really is good, just not as good as mine.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Because there are quite a few ingredients, I would suggest getting everything ready before assembly. Good thing, I almost forgot the eggs!
Pour the milk over the bread. Let it sit a few minutes. I opened up the package of ground beef and got the baggies for my hands. I don’t like to mix the ground beef mixture with my bare hands. I don’t like the way it feels. It’s a weird thing, I know. I either use those plastic bags from the produce section or baggies. If you mix the meat loaf in a mixer, it will make the meat loaf very tough. Gentle mixing with your clean hands is the best way….even if you don’t like it.
In a large bowl combine the ground beef, cheese, seasonings, parsley, eggs, and the soaked bread. Mix with your hands until it is combined. Next, you will be using the broiler pan from your stove. I rarely use this pan. Nice to know it has another use. Oh yeah, line the bottom of the broiler pan with aluminum foil and then spray the the top of the broiler pan with vegetable spray. You will be glad you did. Now, form a loaf with the mixture onto the broiler pan.
Lay bacon over the top. Make the tomato sauce topping. I had to make a slight change in mine. I didn’t have enough ketchup, so I used one 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and one half cup of ketchup along with the brown sugar, ground mustard, and hot sauce. It turned out fabulous! Pour one third of the sauce mixture over the top of the meat loaf and pop it into the oven. Pour another third over the loaf after 45 minutes. Bake until done. It is done when the juices run clear and the internal temperature is 165F to 170F. Use the remaining third of the sauce for serving as a dipping sauce.
Let the meat loaf sit for about ten minutes before cutting. Long enough to get the side dishes served.
Here is the recipe. Do give it a try, it really is good.
by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, 2009
1 cup milk
6 bread slices
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley
4 eggs, beaten
8 to 12 thin bacon slices
Tomato Gravy Sauce
1 1/2 cups ketchup
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
dash or two of hot sauce, more if you like heat
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Pour the milk over the bread and allow it to soak in for several minutes.
3. Place the gound beef, milk soaked bread, Parmesan cheese, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the eggs.
4. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined.
5. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat from the meat to drain. I always line the bottom of the broiler pan with aluminum foil to avoid having to scrub later.
6. Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.
7. Next, make the tomato gravy: Pour the ketchup into a small mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and dry mustard, and splash in the hot sauce.
8. Stir the mixture until well combined.
9. Pour one third of the tomato gravy over the top fo the meatloaf.
10. Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another one third of the remaining tomato gravy over the meatloaf. Bake for an additional 15 minutes (or until done).
11. Serve with the remaining tomato gravy on the side as a dipping sauce.