Thursday, April 5, 2007

Meatloaf in a Crockpot?

It's been a while since I made a meatloaf. It's one of those things that we enjoy, but it just slipped off the radar for awhile I guess. I was trying to figure out what to throw in the crock pot for yesterday, and I had originally thought of some leftover country style ribs. But given that Abigail had some dental work done, and ribs are her favorite, that wouldn't be very kind to her. Then I thought of some ground beef in the freezer and the thought came to me to try a meatloaf in a a crock pot. I wasn't completely convinced that it would work well, but it seemed worthwhile enough to try, and set about looking for some specific crock pot recipes. What I was really looking for was to see if the recipes for a crock pot were any different than for the oven, and I didn't find many differences. So I chose a couple of recipes and ended up with an amalgamation of them to create my own.

The result was a surprise to us. It was very good! It was moist and full of flavor, and really much better than I'd anticipated. My only "beef" with it was that it wasn't very nice to look at, as you can imagine coming out of a crockpot. So when making this, I strongly recommend topping it with sauce before serving. Whether that be BBQ or ketchup or a beef gravy, make it on the side, warm it up, and pour it over the top and you'll be good to go. I didn't think that far ahead, and it really would have been spectacular with a sauce of some kind, and thinking more on it, I think gravy would have been the way to go this time.

My recipe calls for herb crackers- I used a rosemary and black pepper organic cracker- so use that as your guide. I would stay away from butter crackers or soda crackers- what you want is something that packs some flavor. The rest of the recipe is fairly standard meatloaf fare- just make sure you chop your veggies pretty finely, and you'll be good to go. No doubt this could be made in a conventional oven if you want as well. My recipe for Crockpot Meatloaf is in the Recipe Trove, and if I had to guess, you could feed about 8 people on this recipe. As it is, Andy's enjoying sandwiches the rest of the week, and he's thrilled with that. I only cooked mine for about 6 1/2 hours, and it was perfectly done, so gauge the timing according to your crockpot. Mine cooks a little hot, so I had planned for it to be done then instead of at 8 hours- by 8 hours, it may have been dried out. Oh, and sorry, no picture, as I was rather unappealing to look at- but very good for eating.

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