I have been making this meatloaf for over 30 years. When we first got married, Daddy-O said he didn't like meat loaf. But I made it anyway. (He's good to eat nearly anything I make whether he loves it or not.) He was surprised to find that he did like this meatloaf, which was not like the kind he had grown up with. Lucky me, because I love meat loaf.
I made it one night last spring when I was on my long stay at Mommy's house. Little Sister was very explicit in telling everyone, "I like Mimi's meatloaf. I don't like Daddy's meatloaf." She said this over and over and over. And over.
Her poor Daddy—he was not the one who made the meat loaf. But she saw him take it out of the oven and put it on her plate. She held him responsible for the mushy meat loaf her mommy had made. He kept trying to explain to her that he didn't make it. But, it is very hard to reason with a three-year-old!
We finally figured out why Mommy's meat loaf kept falling apart. She used my recipe exactly. But she was putting it in a loaf pan to bake and all the juices and liquid were trapped in the loaf, making it fall apart. I make mine in a LOAF SHAPE, and then put it in a baking pan, about 7x11-inches. Any excess liquid can cook out of the meat and into the pan. Works like a charm.
The other reason I like this recipe is that I get two dinners for one mixing. It makes one loaf to bake and one loaf to freeze. And the frozen loaf comes straight out of the freezer and goes into the oven frozen–—no need to thaw before you bake it. Many time I can't plan far enough ahead to thaw overnight.
2 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 envelope Lipton's onion soup mix
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (or 3/4 cup dry crumbs)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients well. (I use my hands.) Shape into two loaves. Place one loaf in a baking dish (not a loaf pan) and bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until done. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
Wrap second loaf in heavy-duty foil, sealing carefully and freeze. Label & date.
To bake frozen loaf: Unwrap and bake, uncovered at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. Lower oven temp to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes more.
I just read another blog—GoodnightGram's Blog—who just wrote about a community meat loaf supper. I don't know where GoodnightGram lives, but must not be near us. Community or church dinners or fund raiser meals here are most likely barbecue. Maybe we should try something different!