Meatloaf with Optional Toppings

Saucing a baked meatloaf
Serves 6-8

We often use plain catsup to top our meatloaf, or make a sweet glaze topping. Sometimes we top with barbecue sauce or simple brown gravy. Each of the toppings is delicious, and experimenting with them gives you lots of options to create interesting and flavorful meals for your family.

For the Optional Sweet Glaze/Topping:
4 TBSP catsup or ketchup
4 TBSP maple syrup, or brown sugar, or honey
2 TBSP Dijon or other salad mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

For the Meatloaf:
2 pounds ground sirloin or ground chuck
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 strips of bacon
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup unflavored breadcrumbs or crumbled saltine crackers
1/2 cup finely minced white or red onion
1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup catsup or ketchup for meatloaf mix
1/2 cup ketchup, catsup or barbecue sauce for topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Spray a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside
3. If using the optional sweet glaze, in a small bowl, combine 4 TBSP catsup, choice of sweetener (maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey), mustard, and Worcestershire until well mixed; Set aside
4. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, milk, bread or cracker crumbs, onion, 1/2 cup catsup, salt and pepper
5. Mix with your hands until well combined
6. Shape into a loaf and and place into the loaf pan, leaving a little gap on all sides
7. Add the strips of bacon to the top, so each of the servings gets a slice of bacon
8. Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour and 15 minutes
9. Use a baster to carefully remove and discard the accumulated fat from around the meatloaf
10. Top the loaf with your chosen topping mixture
11. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes longer, or place under the broiler until bubbly

Lea chops veggies for meatloafThis is a really good recipe when you want to add a little different flare to your family meal. I often use equal amounts of chuck, sirloin and pork, which really delivers on meaty flavor for a wonderfully tasty family meal. We also have an Italian flavored version for those times we want to make it a bit more festive. To create eye-appeal for children, try baking in mini-loaf pans, or shape individual meatloaves in greased coffee cups or ramekins, and invert them onto a half sheet pan for baking. Plate on top of some of the sauce, and top with colorful shredded cheeses to capture their interest.

Need a recipe for a large group? We developed our recipe for 50 servings. First, grind up 30 pounds of ground meat. . .