“Meatloaf, Scmeatloaf!!!” Anyone else love the movie “A Christmas Story”? You know the one… set during the depression, narrated by Ralphie, the main character? I love the scene where they are sitting down to dinner and meatloaf is being served. He lets out a groan and mumbles under his breath, “Meatloaf, Schmeatloaf” and the narrator says something to the effect of “My brother had not eaten voluntarily in three years” followed by the mother getting him to eat in ways which still leave me both grossed out and laughing my butt off. I definitely identify when the narrator says “My mother had not eaten a hot meal in twenty years”. Yeah… I can get behind that one .
Meatloaf has a really really bad reputation and so many people are convinced that they absolutely hate it. I personally think they just haven’t had a good one. Because made incorrectly, meatloaf can be some nassssttttyyyyyy stuff. I actually knew someone once whose idea of making meatloaf was to take ground beef, throw in some oatmeal, salt and pepper and then bake that. *shudders* There you have the reasoning behind the bad rep. People don’t do anything to season it well or they cook it until it is a rock; they don’t glaze it etc etc etc. Add all the bad skits in movies and on TV surrounding it and it’s no wonder no one likes it.
Personally, I love meatloaf. Well, when I am the one that’s made it. By now, you know I can’t do anything that is screaming “I’m PLAIN!!!!”. I have to give things a bit of kick. Not necessarily heat; just a lot of flavor. I’m not any different when it comes to making meatloaf. I want flavor, not a dry crumbly loaf that tastes only of ground beef. B…o…r…i…n…gggggg.
So give this a try if you like meat loaf. Give this a try if you think you dislike meatloaf. Give this a try if you are the parent or s/o of a meat loaf hater. If you still don’t like it (or they don’t), I’ll make something sweet and creamy. Ok, so we all know I’ll do that anyway but you get my drift. Give it a try.
This meat loaf is HUGE by the way. Seriously. This could be a small uninhabited island if it weren’t a meatloaf. Or a rocket ship to Pluto, which btw, IS a planet. So feel free to cut this in half. I make it big here because we like the leftovers for lunch for a month or twelve. Nuttin’ better than a meatloaf sandwich. YUM!
Chili Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
Aka The Meatloaf That Ate Manhattan
- 2 pounds ground beef (preferably ground chuck)
- 2 pounds ground veal
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 2 cups finely chopped onion (I use red onion because it tends to be more flavorful)
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic (yes, you read that right)
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green pepper
- 2 tablespoons McCormick brand “Perfect Pinch Steak Seasoning” (or your favorite steak seasoning)
- 2 teaspoons ground chipotle pepper (optional. It doesn’t really add heat in this amount, just a nice smokiness.)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup Heinz 57 sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 2/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
- 8 deli slices sharp cheddar or Colby cheese (I used 4 slices white cheddar and 4 slices Colby)
- 1 small (3 ounces) can chopped green chilies (drained as well as one can drain a can of chilies)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a LARGE baking pan with foil.
- In a large bowl, mix all the loaf ingredients other than the meats, the cheese and the green chilies.
- Add in the meat and mix well. Clean hands are the best tool for this because it’s hard to break up lumps otherwise. Remember; this is a lot of meat.
- Scoop half of the meat mixture out onto the baking pan. Shape into a large (did I mention how large this was?) loafish shape.
- Make an indentation all through the center of the meat, leaving about a half inch edge. Think of it as making a moat.
- Pour the chilies on top and spread to the lip, edge, moat… whatever you want to call it.
- Lay the slices of cheese on top of this.
- Take the other half of the meat and cover the bottom half, sealing well around the edges (bye bye moat).
- Bake at 350 for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- About halfway through baking, mix all the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon about half of it over the top of the loaf and continue cooking. Heat the rest in the microwave and serve on the side with the meat loaf or drizzle over the top of each slice.
- This makes great sandwiches the next day drizzled with some of the glaze and a slice or two of fresh tomato