Source of Recipe
This is the recipe I use most of the time, it's a combo of a couple recipes that I combined to suit us. It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but trust me... this makes a fabulous meatloaf, and it's worth the effort! I've cut this recipe down to half, because the original made enough to feed an army! Another note - having a small food processor makes this a whole lot easier to prep the ingredients. Unfortunately, with meatloaf, there is no other way to mix it except by hand, so prep everything first, then put it all in a BIG bowl and mix with your hands.
List of Ingredients
1 lb of ground beef
1/2 lb of bulk sausage (breakfast sausage or Italian sausage)
1 slice of fresh bread, processed to fine crumbs
1/4 cup rolled/quick oats
1/2 cup milk (approx)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (seasoned or plain)
1/4 cup crushed cheese crackers (Cheez-Its)
1/4 cup EACH: your favorite salsa, ketchup or BBQ sauce, and bottled Italian salad dressing
1/2 small can of tomato paste
1 small-ish carrot, 1 celery stalk, and a small piece of onion, processed to very fine dice
1 clove of garlic, grated, or half a tsp of jarred minced garlic
1/4 tsp seasoned salt (Lowry's)
1/2 tsp steak seasoning (usually a black pepper-garlic blend seasoning)
Topping: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tsp yellow mustard, 2 tsp brown sugar
It's best to make this up either the night before or early in the day and let it sit in the fridge. Get it out of the fridge half an hour before baking to take the chill off.
This bakes for about an hour at 375, you want the internal temp to be at least 160. When it's done baking, let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes so it won't fall apart when you slice it.
Get a large baking pan ready (I use a 9x13 cake pan) by lining it with foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray. Set it aside while you make the meatloaf.
Before you do anything else, process your fresh bread and put it into a small bowl (like a cereal bowl). Toss the oats in with it, then add the milk, just enough to cover everything. Let this soak while you make the rest of the recipe.
In a nice large mixing bowl, toss in the dry bread crumbs and crushed crackers. Crack the egg into the bowl, and add all the remaining "wet" ingredients (ketchup, salsa, etc), and the seasonings. Add the processed carrot, onion and celery also. Add in the soaked mixture of bread and oats. Finally, crumble the two ground meats into the bowl on top of everything (I do this part last so that I'm not touching any of my bottles and jars with raw meat on my hands).
NOW you gotta stick your hands into the bowl and mix everything together! Some people get grossed out with this, but hey... wear plastic gloves if you want. You want everything combined really well, but try not to smoosh it all to death. Once it's all mixed together well, turn the mix into the baking pan you prepped, shaping it with your hands into a loaf. Ideally you want at least an inch of space between the meat and the edges of the pan. Pat it/pack it pretty well so that it doesn't fall apart, but don't make it a brick either.
WASH YOUR ICKY HANDS BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE.
Cover the meatloaf with plastic or foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove the plastic or foil before you bake it (375). It'll take about an hour, maybe more, and you want the internal temp to reach at least 160. NOTE: You may have to drain some of the fat out of the pan about half way through cooking... use a turkey baster or large spoon, whatever works for you. Otherwise it just kind of boils in the grease, and that's not good.
When you get toward the end of cooking time, mix up the topping ingredients and spread on top of the meatloaf... it only takes about 10 or 15 minutes for the glaze to set up and caramelize, so you don't want to put it on in the beginning.
Let it rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes to set up. Slice as desired, and watch it disappear!