Nothing new here! Well pump on the brakes there doubting Thomas. This is not your mama’s meatloaf. At least it is not our mama’s meatloaf. Our mama’s meatloaf was made with ground beef, stale bread, and ketchup. Sometimes she would go all gourmet on us and use stale saltines instead, but cannot lie, still not stellar. As a grown as…um as adults we simply refused to serve it to our own family.
So, imagine our surprise when we stated to see it on farm-to-table menus everywhere. Apparently, meatloaf is staging a comeback. Having so many talented chefs bringing their own style to this fifties favorite does not hurt.
Well when in Rome, we went to work creating our own version using only local farm products, our own spices, and veggies grown right here in our garden. We do have to admit, it does embrace the farm-to-table philosophy in its entirety.
The Recipe Basics:
We used a mix of Cow Creek Organic Farms ground beef and Whistling Hen Farms Hint of Maple Sausage. The maple in the sausage compliments the sweetness of the barbecue spices and sauce we used for this version of meatloaf. We mixed it with plain breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, there is no getting away from adding a filler. It is what binds the meat into a loaf. Using plain breadcrumbs gets the job done without compromising the taste.
We then sauteed a sweet onion, orange bell pepper, and garlic in oil to give it a layer of savory goodness. We choose to skip adding any grated carrots. Personally, we do not think it adds anything to the flavor so prefer to leave them out.
In a small bowl, we mixed beaten eggs with milk and a ½ cup of our house barbecue sauce which has a bold full-bodied flavor with a hint of sweetness. You can use your favorite barbeque sauce. We also added some of our own BBQ Dry Rub seasoning to kick up the flavors and really bring out the barbecue flavors.
After baking the loaf for 30 minutes we brush additional barbecue sauce over the loaf. Giving it time to bake first gives the loaf a nice solid top. I did not want the sauce to be absorbed into the loaf but act as its own topping. We continued to bake it for an additional 45 minutes.
Before serving meatloaf, let it sit for 15 minutes. This allows all those loose juices to be absorbed back into the meat and solidifies the loaf, so it does not crumble upon slicing.
There you have it! Our version of Meatloaf. It is savory, packed with flavor, and the barbecue gives it a unique flavor complexity that makes it stand out.
Cedar Oak Meatloaf
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cups sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 4 1/2 teaspoons BBQ Dry Rub
- In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, sausage, and breadcrumbs and set aside.
- In a skillet heat the oil to shimmering. Add the onion and green pepper. Sauteed until the onion is translucent and the green pepper is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauteed for another 1 – 2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.
- In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, and the BBQ Rub seasoning.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and spread the remaining 1/4 cup sauce over the loaf. Bake for a remaining 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and all to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.