Crock Pot Meatloaf

Saturday, March 19, 2011

One of the best culinary tips I’ve received was from my fabulous sister-in-law Barb -- get a crock pot. What better way to quiet the single gal’s popular refrain of I don’t have time to cook?

It was with great glee -- and the delight of a contented bargain shopper -- that I purchased my Crock Pot Classic for just $20. I was equally excited to discover my new gadget came with a booklet of recipes, including one for meatloaf.

For a neophyte chef, meatloaf can feel like a daunting proposition, what with having to make sure you achieve the right consistency, etc. A crock pot mercifully removes the guesswork, so I excitedly followed directions here.

1 ½ pounds of lean ground beef
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup ketchup
½ cup chopped onion
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste

The recipe also called for 8 slices of cheddar or American cheese. I opted for shredded low-fat mozzarella instead and can honestly say I didn’t miss the fattier variety. After mixing all of the ingredients (minus the cheese and tomato paste) in a bowl, shape half the meat mixture into a loaf. Arrange cheese on meat then top with remaining meat. Top with tomato paste and cook on low (6 to 8 hours) or high (3 to 4 hours).

The result? A deliciously moist, flavorful meatloaf -- softer than what you’d get from an oven version but without scrimping any on taste. Mmm!

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