Three Meat Loaf Recipes

I've tried several meat loaf recipes over the years but keep coming back to three that always turn out delightful with basic ground beef, though lean at least 80% or ground chuck or ground sirloin is recommended. 

 I've never made the types of  loaves with meat combinations, (veal, pork etc.), just plain ground beef like I remember from growing up or when raising kids.  

It's always a welcomed meal, and considered "comfort food."
Cheese Stuffed Meat Loaf
1 pound ground beef
1/3 of medium onion diced
1 clove minced garlic
3 or 4 Tabs. tomato juice or ketchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup dried oatmeal
1 Egg
Cheese of choice: American, Cheddar, Velvetta

Mix all ingredients then pat 1/2 the mixture into loaf pan, making an indentation down the length of the middle about 1 inch deep and 2 inches wide.  Slice cheese into thick slices laying in to fill middle of the meat indention, then spread the other half of meat mixture on top to seal. More cheese can be add on top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. 

Cheeseburger Meat Loaf
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
 8 oz. Cheddar, grated or cheese of choice.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, I use seasoned crumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tab. Worcestershire
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Optional: dash or two of liquid smoke

2/3 cup ketchup
4 Tabs. mustard
Canned French fried onions, optional
Preheat oven to 350 

Combine beef and remaining ingredients except topping, mixing well. In separate bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/2 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, saving the remaining ketchup mixture to spread over shaped loaf.

Press meat mixture into a loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on baking pan or dish. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf.  Bake 55-60 minutes if not using onion topping; otherwise, bake 40 minutes, then top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until onions are crispy.

Old Fashioned Meat Loaf
1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 medium carrot, minced
1 stalk celery minced
1 large egg
3 slices of bread, crusts off and processed for fresh crumbs, or 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
2 tsps. minced garlic
4 tsps. dry mustard
1/4 cup parsley flakes
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
tsp. or two to taste of hot sauce: red pepper, green  Tabasco
1/2 tsp. rosemary
3 or 4 strips of bacon cut in half
Glaze: BBQ sauce, bottled or homemade using mixture of brown sugar, mustard  & ketchup.
Set oven to 400.

Process celery, garlic, onion, carrot in processor to mince. (Veggies, help make a moist loaf)  In a mixing bowl add beef, egg, mustard, parsley, ketchup, crumbs, remaining seasoning, and minced vegetables. Mixing with hands knead to combine all ingredients.

For free-form, shape on into oval or round on rack in baking pan, brush with glaze, layer top with bacon and brush with more glaze. This will be crustier all around than using a loaf pan.  Bake 55-60 minutes, rest 15 minutes and serve. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.

For loaf-form  pat in pan, brush with glaze, layer top with bacon width-wise tucking ends down sides, brush with glaze.  Bake 55-60 minutes, rest 15 minutes and serve. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.

Estimated cost $3.60 or less; .90 cents a serving or less