Mondays are for meatloaf in my family and over the years, I have spent a few too many hours in my kitchen trying to make the best-flavored meatloaf recipe. Well, the time has paid off in the kitchen and now it’s time to share my Cook Like a Dad recipe.
Shopping List: Feeds a Family of 4
1.5 Lbs. Pounds of Ground Beef ( You can also use Ground Chicken, Turkey, Pork Lamb, even Tofu as your ground meat in this recipe)
1- Carrot, 2- Celery Stalks, 2- Slices of Red Onion
1-5oz. bottle of A-1 Steak Sauce
2- 3oz. Cans of Tomato Paste
½ Cup of Cheddar Cheese, Graded or 5- Thick slices of your favorite Cheese
2- Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
2-Tablespoons of Montreal Steak Seasoning
1-Cup of Milk
2-Cups of Salad Croutons
Equipment: 3 Mixing Bowls, Olive Oil, Meatloaf Pan, Oven Pre-heated to 395-Degrees F*
Cooking Steps: Pre- Heat Oven to 395 F*
Step 1: Veggie Prep.
Finely chop Carrots, Celery, and Onion together. You can also use a cheese grader or food processor to get your veggies to a fine chop. This is a great way to “hide” the veggies away from the picky eaters in your family. There is no way they are going to taste these vegetables in the recipe; however, every parent knows that if a kid can see it, the story is bigger than the reality! Place all chopped veggie in a bowl and move on to the next step.
Step 2: Take a small bowl and place 2 cups of Salad croutons into the bowl. Take 1 cup of milk and allow the croutons to soak in the bowl. This little trick of adding soaked croutons is my secret tip on keeping your meatloaf moist. Keep the croutons in the bowl and move on to the next step.
Step 3: Meat Prep. As you saw in my ingredient section that I allow all types of ground meats in this recipe. I have tried them all and they all come out magnificent. In this particular recipe, I am using a 90% lean ground beef. Take a large bowl and place your ground beef in the bowl. Now add the 2 tablespoons of Montreal Steak Seasoning and Minced Garlic onto the meat. Add the entire contents of chopped vegetables as well as the bowl of croutons. Now take the a-1 Steak Sauce and pour ½ of the bottle into the bowl of ground beef and mix the entire contents by hand.
Step 4: It’s time to make my secret sauce. Take a small bowl and empty the 2 cans of Tomato Paste into the bowl. Add the remainder of the A-1 Sauce and a tablespoon of water. I recommend 1-tablespoon of Montreal Seasoning into the mix and stir well. This tomato mixture needs to be thick. When done mixing, set aside and move to the final step.
Step 5: Grease your meatloaf pan with non-stick spray or place some olive oil on a napkin and wipe the sides and bottom of your meatloaf pan. Nobody likes a sticky meatloaf; so make sure to grease your pan. Now add the first layer of meatloaf up to the halfway point of the pan. Now take your tomato paste mixture and add a layer of the paste to cover the first layer of meatloaf. Now place cheese on top of layer and cover cheese from end to end like in the picture shown. Top off and finish the rest of your meatloaf into the pan. When all meatloaf is in the pan, top off and cover all sides with another tick layer of tomato paste.
Time to Bake
Place in oven heated to 395 Degrees F for 45-minutes. You want your meatloaf to look a little “burnt” at the top for best results. When time is up, allow the meatloaf to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.