Taste Testing: Beef and Sausage Meatloaf

When your grandfather gives you a pan specifically for meatloaf at his own 80th birthday party, you get the hint. He really wants you to make him the meatloaf you promised him like a year ago. (The man really likes meatloaf.) This can’t just be any old meatloaf though, that’s just not how I roll. I want it to be both traditional enough to please Grandpa and have some twist that will make it my own. So let the taste testing commence with this accidental variation.

I was planning on making something closer to this recipe from Martha Stewart. However, a friend was doing the grocery shopping for this meal and when he couldn’t seem to find regular ground pork, thought fast and grabbed a pound of sausage meat to substitute. Sometimes just working with what you’ve got (or what you can find) will yield some of the most delicious results.

Beef and Sausage Meatloaf with Garlic Potatoes

Beef and Sausage Meatloaf adapted from Martha Stewart’s All American Meatloaf Serves 4-6

You’ll need:

  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 stalks celery chopped into 1/4″ pieces
  • 2-3 carrots chopped into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1-2 leeks chopped into larger pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (just depends on how much you like garlic :-))
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound sausage meat
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Franks Red Hot sauce (or Tabasco, or whatever hot sauce you like)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cut crusts off bread, toss it in the food processor and process until fine crumbs form and toss them in a large mixing bowl

Next throw the celery, carrots, leek, garlic and parsley into the food processor and process until very fine. Not liquid-y or anything, just small enough pieces that they will mix into the meatloaf well and cook through. Toss all of that into the bowl with the bread crumbs

In the bowl with your veggies and bread crumbs add your meat, egg, 1/2 cup ketchup, salt & pepper, hot sauce, 2 1/2 teaspoons mustard and about 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme. Use your hands to mix everything together until combined.

Grease your loaf pan and get your meat mixture into the pan.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons of ketchup and remaining 2 teaspoons of dry mustard. Mix until smooth. Using a pastry brush or spatula generously brush this glaze over the meatloaf.

Place the olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the oil is smoking add the red onion and cook just until golden in some places and relatively soft. Add the 3 tablespoons water and cook (and stir) until the water has evaporated. Let the onions cool slightly and then sprinkle over the top of the loaf.

Bake for 30 minutes then lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes more. Let the loaf cool for about 15 minutes before you serve it.

The meatloaf itself

I served some garlic roasted potatoes on the side. To make those just chop about 5-6 average sized potatoes into about 6 pieces and spread in a single layer on a pan. Finely dice about 4-6 cloves garlic and sprinkle over the potatoes and drizzle the whole thing with some olive oil. Bake these next to the meatloaf, stirring every so often. The little garlic pieces will get nice and crispy and you won’t have to worry about kissing anybody after you enjoy.

This was a hearty meat-and-potatoes dinner with just a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar and ketchup glaze on the meatloaf.

Garlic and Potatoes

It was very a hearty meat-and-potatoes dinner with just a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar and ketchup glaze on the meatloaf. The sausage and thyme were very prominent flavors and as the boyfriend described it, it was more like Shepherd’s Pie than a traditional meatloaf. That certainly was not a bad thing though.

So I don’t think this is the recipe for Grandpa but no matter. I’ve already come across a few other recipes that I think will be much closer to Grandpa’s standards.

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