My mom stayed as far away from diced peppers, tomatoes and onions as long as I can remember. She loves the smell of onions but doesn’t want to bite down on a chunk of one. She finds the appearance of tomatoes very offensive and diced peppers are fine, but only in soups or cut so fine they appear to be a powder.
These endearing qualities worked to her advantage (in my opinion) when it came to her version of meatloaf. While I like all of the aforementioned ingredients, I didn’t miss them in this dish. I would think in a crowd of 100 you’d get over half that say they aren’t too crazy for meatloaf. But if you gave them my mom’s version, they’d ask for seconds. It’s cheesy, savory and has a nice crust on top. Served with mashed potatoes, green beans and a yeast roll – you got the South, baby.
So you moms out there who need a savory, hearty, fill-your-stomach recipe for Sunday dinner or for the Monday night “blah who wants to cook!” Or for those who have a picky eater at the table, try this – I bet you already have everything in your pantry to make it.
Mom’s Meat Loaf
2 lbs ground beef (I remember mom bought lean)
1/2-1 package Saltine crackers
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tbs chili powder
Onion powder or minced onion
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Crush half of the saltine packet and add it to the mixture. Add a little more if the mix seems too soupy but the crackers absorb a lot of it. Mom hardly ever used measurements for this part – she just added until it looked right. So let’s hope you have that judicious quality. For the onion powder, salt and pepper, just add to taste. Put the mixture into a loaf pan and cover with wax paper. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake 30 minutes at 400. Or, forgo the microwave and just bake in oven at 400 for 1 hour 15 min.
no picture for this post as finding an appetizing picture of meatloaf is…difficult