Friday, April 24, 2009

The Squirrel Can Cook – Meatloaf

Welcome to the new Friday feature at A Squirrel in BabylonThe Squirrel Can Cook! I’m not Alton Brown or anything, but I do know my way around a kitchen, and I like to cook. So, most Fridays, I’ll bring one of my favorites here to the blog, and let you have a taste.

Today, Meatloaf!

Ingredient list:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef (I use extra-lean)(I would use 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of hot Italian sausage, but Mrs. Squirrel doesn’t like sausage.)
  • ¾ cup of oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of Marinara sauce (I use premade-from-a-jar, you could make your own, if you want)
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 envelope of onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Put all the ingredients, except for the Parmesan cheese, in a nice, big mixing bowl. Make sure you’ve got one with enough room for mixing! (Do not forget to remove the eggs from their shells and discard the shells. This is a very important step!) Mix everything very well. I have found that the best way to mix the ingredients is to coat your paws with oil, and do it by hand.

Spread out a double layer of heavy duty plastic wrap (don’t use the cheap stuff, you’ll be sooorrryyyy!) onto the counter, and place the meatloaf mixture in the center. Form into a loaf, then wrap tightly in the plastic wrap, getting as much of the air out as possible. You want the plastic wrap to be compressing the meatloaf. Place wrapped meatloaf bundle into a cake pan, and put in refrigerator overnight (and most of the next day… unless you want meatloaf for breakfast.) This allows your meatloaf to “set” and it will be less likely to crumble when you carve it into slices after cooking.

About 1 1/2 hours before you want to eat, remove the meatloaf from the refrigerator, and remove the plastic wrap. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I like to place the meatloaf on a wire rack about half-an-inch above the bottom of a cake pan, so that the fat from the meat has someplace to go during cooking. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven, and bake for about 1 hour.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven, cover with an aluminum foil tent, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remember the rest of that jar of marinara sauce? Began to heat that up, so that it will be hot when the meatloaf is done.

Slice meatloaf to desired thickness, spoon marinara sauce over slices, and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a nice green salad.

Squirrel shall not live by nuts alone!

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Mrs. Squirrel said...

Actually, it's not that I don't like sausage, it's that I've reached the age where the sausage doesn't like me. And the 'hot' stuff doesn't like me even more. Mr. Squirrel found out about that when he decided to make a fabulous chili that was a 'tad too spicy for me'. [There are heated spices that I can handle better than others.] But, he said: "no, there are no red peppers in it."

You're sin will find you out.

A long morning in the bathroom the next day for me and he realized that wasn't such a good idea to sneak in a dash of red peppers... no matter how good the food tasted.

Now he buys those jars of super-hot paste and adds a spoon full to his own plate so he can enjoy it and I don't have to pay for it later.

Sir Aaron said...

ROFL. My wife makes me stay far away from the kitchen. I like everything spicy and she doesn't. I'm infamous for my very spicy spaghetti.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Way to go Mr. Squirrel :0) Sounds good to me :0)

After chemo/radiation my husband doesn't "do" spicy, so I've gotten out of the habit of liking things too spicy myself. *sigh* (I think pregnancy had an affect on my taste buds too...)

I'll look forward to next Friday -


Fred Butler said...

I am already excited about this next Friday. Isn't that strange?

The Squirrel said...

It's not strange, Fred... food always excites me!



Fred Butler said...

Just a question: Does the sauce leave a nice, dried and crunch around the edges texture on top of the loaf like ketchup does? That is one of the main drawing points for me with meatloaf.

The Squirrel said...


yes, if you top the meatloaf with a few spoonfuls of sauce before you bake it, you'll get that "dried tomato-y crunch" you're looking for.