I hate meatloaf. How about you? Why is meatloaf considered an American comfort food? Actually, I can't think of too many "American comfort foods" that I actually would put in my mouth. Meatloaf is at the bottom of the list. I mean, what's so comforting about a huge hunk of ground up cow with ketchup slathered all over it? YUCK!
A couple of years ago my mom introduced me to what she described as the best meatloaf ever. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical. The funniest thing was that for my first experience with this food form that I hated, we made it into a heart shape and served it up for Valentine's day dinner, after which my wonderful husband presented me with a string of Mikimoto pearls and matching earrings. Hmmm...maybe I should have made something more glamorous than...meatloaf.
In the end, mom's right (isn't she always?). This is the best meatloaf EVER. Mostly because it has no ketchup. I always serve it with mashed potatoes (the real kind, not the boxed kind) and corn (no, I don't pick it myself, but I would if I could). One of the best things about meatloaf is that it's easy as pie to make several at a time and freeze a couple while you make one for dinner.
BEST EVER MEAT LOAF
1 can (10 ½ oz.) condensed Golden Mushroom soup
2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
½ c. fine dry bread crumbs
1/3 c. finely chopped onion (or 1 ½ T. minced onion)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 t. salt
1/3 c. water
2-3 T. drippings
Mix thoroughly ½ c. condensed soup, beef (or turkey) bread crumbs, onion, egg & salt. Shape firmly into a loaf; place in loaf pan or in shallow baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes. Blend remaining soup, water and drippings. Heat, stirring now and then. Serve as gravy with loaf. Serves 6.
To freeze one or two simple double or triple the recipe and put the loaf(s) either in a freezer bag or in a foil loaf pan. To thaw, the instant you wake up in the morning take the loaf out of the freezer and let it sit on your counter (I know, I know, evil) or if you don't like that, thaw it in your sink filled with cool (not warm, not cold) water. Or plan ahead and put it in your fridge a couple of days before you plan to use it. Bake as directed above.
I actually use two cans of the soup to make more gravy. I have had both ground beef and ground turkey and they both have their merits.
If you make this, let me know how you like it. Thanks for the recipe, mom!