April 13, 2011

Meatloaf-The best you've EVER had

Let me start off by saying that I hate meatloaf. 

If it wasn't for my husband, I would have never eaten it again.  But, due to his love of meat, I came up with this recipe.  I'm sure its similar to a lot of meatloaf recipes, heck-there is only so much you can do with a big pan of meat.  However, I'm going to share my recipe with you.  Please don't tell anyone.  It IS a secret and I don't want it floating around the internet or anything. ; )

We use deer (or venison) for just about everything that would require beef. 

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground venison (or beef, or turkey, or whatever you want to use)
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion
1 can Hunts tomatoes for meatloaf
1 egg
about 15 Ritz crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 ketchup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp minced garlic
Black Pepper (to taste)


  1. Place rinsed tomatoes and thinly sliced onion on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with the oil oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with the kosher salt, minced garlic and black pepper.

     2.  Place baking sheet in oven on 300 for about 45 minutes until the tomatoes begin to burst and the onion's caramelize.  mmmm......the smell is incredible!
    3.  While the tomatoes are cooking, take the 1lb. of meat and mix in the can of Hunt's tomatoes sauce for Meatloaf (I know, the easy way out, but worth it). 
    4.  Next stir in the egg and the Ritz crackers, crushed. 
    
     5. Combine all ingredients together.  I typically get in there with my hands and squish it until its completely mixed.
    6.  Take the meat mixture out of the bowl and form a "loaf" in a baking pan. (You could also bake it in a loaf pan but I like to do it this way so I can drain off the juices later).
    7.  Cover the meatloaf with foil and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes. 
    8.  When the tomatoes and onions are finished, remove them from the oven.  I pile them all up together in the center of the baking sheet and sprinkle on the brown sugar.  Then I add a few squeezes of ketchup for some extra thickness to the sauce.
    9.  Next, take a potato masher, spatula or whatever else you may have and mash the tomatoes and other ingredients into paste.
    10.  When the meatloaf has finished baking, remove it from the oven and pour of the excess juices.  Spoon the tomato mixture over the meatloaf and cover it back up with the aluminum foil.  Bake an extra 10-15 minutes until the sauce cooks into the loaf.
    When its all finished it should look like this:
    Mmmm!  Delicious!  I served mine with a side of mac & cheese and some home grown green beans.  If you don't like the sweet flavor, you can leave out the brown sugar, but that is the best part of this recipe.  The grape tomatoes and brown sugar make this meatloaf divine. Enjoy!
    
    
    
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