Meatloaf, you either love it or it gives you heartburn, right? I've had meatloaf that came way too dense or way too soggy and/or falling apart and then it is more of a sandwich filling than a stand alone entree. Recently, our family went to a popular BBQ restaurant statewide and our eldest daughter's fiance ordered meatloaf (frankly, why does one order meatloaf at a famous BBQ eatery!!??) and when it arrived, I couldn't believe my eyes. The meat product, named meatloaf by this establishment, was the densest, bready, and most hideous looking mess I had ever seen. Why the edges even heavily resembled a crust!! I asked for a sample of which our to-be son-in-law happily obliged, it was dry and exactly what I suspected, bready. YUCK! He didn't complain and ate it with gusto, but as he is one of eight in his family, food from a restaurant is a treat.
My mom made meatloaf probably once a month and we all enjoyed it, my dad loved the chow-chow that she made on it. He was solo with that, we kids put ketchup on ours, oh yeah! Together with mashed or scalloped potatoes and peas, we were set on a nice meal. Fast film forward to today, I don't make meatloaf as often as my mom, but I should. The traditional recipe called for ketchup, cracker crumbs, 2 eggs, diced onions and salt/pepper to taste, but some years ago when my children were babies and time was short for preparing meals, I got lazy and just poured salsa in the meat and cracker mixture and called it a day. Figuring that the onions, tomato sauce, and other seasonings were already combined in the salsa, it would be a great short cut,and it was. It was fabulous!
So here is my recipe for fast and fabulous meatloaf!
2 lbs of ground beef
2 large eggs
1 - 1.5 cups salsa
1 cup of breadcrumbs or butter flavored cracker crumbs
salt and pepper
Bacon, optional, but DELICIOUS
Mix everything together completely, except the bacon. Put meat mixture in a loaf pan, or form it in a loaf shape and place it on a cookie sheet with all four sides (keeping the grease from ruining your oven) Wrap the uncooked bacon over the top of the meatloaf to cover. Bake for at least an hour or until the center temperature reaches 180 degrees for beef. Let the loaf rest under some foil while you get the rest of the meal together and serve.
This recipe has been my staple for about 15 years now with no complaints, if you try it, let me know how you and your family liked it!