Remember in "A Christmas Story", when Ralphie's little brother wouldn't eat his dinner. The dinner was meatloaf, and when he wouldn't eat it he said, "meatloaf, beetloaf, I hate meatloaf". How those lines stuck with many of us. We can thank the invention of the meat grinder in 1899 for having brought about the ability for us to make the modern meatloaf.
Meatloaf during the depression was a great way to get expensive meat to go a long way. You could throw numerous ingredients in with the ground meat and turn it into an expansive loaf. You could get imaginative with it. Do you sauce, or not sauce. Throw mash potatoes on top maybe. There are lots of ways to get this seemingly boring meal into something that is so good that even Ralphie's little brother would eat it. (Without acting like a pig.) Hopefully you all understand my reference to "A Christmas Story". If in case you haven't seen it, it is an American classic at this point in time. You know it is Christmas season when TBS plays 24 hours of A Christmas Story.
Here is my take on the classic. It has gone through numerous evolutions through the last decade, but this is one I am sticking with, for now anyway. : )
- 1 lb ground beef (I used 97% fat free)
- 1 small onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of homemade breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp fresh parsley
- 2/3 cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar. To measure I packed it in a measuring cup.)
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, plus extra for glazing the top. (I used mine. The recipe can be found here.)
Place the meat in a loaf pan that has been prepared with no stick cooking spray. I used an aluminum loaf pan.
Place the meatloaf, covered with aluminum foil in a preheated oven at 375F for 40 minutes.
My littlest one was having some fun in the kitchen at the time.