Ahhh…..meatloaf, one of the top 25 American Comfort foods. A food that soothes us on a stormy night or can transport us, through our memories, back to our childhood when life was carefree. .
“Meatloaf” what a simple name for a dish that has so many variations. You could make meatloaf once a week, and by changing just a few ingredients you can create a new and exciting recipe each time! All you have to do is start with a pound or two of ground meat; chuck, round, or sirloin, jazz it up a bit add a little ground sausage, pork or veal!!
After that, the possibilities are endless……..Flavor it with onions, peppers (sweet or hot), mushrooms, carrots, spice it up with garlic, oregano, basil or thyme. You can add a little mustard, be creative with sauces too, BBQ or tomato sauce, ketchup or a can of soup. Crunchy meatloaf anyone? Make a crust with French Fried Onions. Stuff it with cheese and encase it with mashed potatoes, or stuff it with potatoes and top it with cheese!
I used to make a traditional meatloaf, onions, green pepper, bread crumbs, eggs, tomato soup until one day I watched “The Bridges of Madison County.” Yes friends, yet another movie. After the a fair with the photographer, Francesca goes into town with her husband and she asks him what he would like for dinner. He replies that the brown sugar meatloaf she makes would be fine.
After that I was on a mission to find a recipe for brown sugar meatloaf (are you surprised?). Keep in mind that I saw this movie in 1995, the internet wasn’t like it is today, we were still relying on cookbooks and family recipes. It never occurred to me to do an internet search. I couldn’t find “Brown Sugar Meatloaf” in any cookbook I had, and I have a lot, so I began to experiment. After trying a few variations I came up with this.
It’s a family favorite, we hope you’ll like it too!
Nancy’s Brown Sugar Meatloaf
1.25 lbs. Ground Chuck
1.25 lbs. Ground Round
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 Eggs ( slightly beaten)
1 small Onion – Grated or chopped (your preference – I grate)
1 tsp. Seasoning Salt (I use Lawry’s)
2 tsp. Worcester Sauce
5 tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 – 15 oz. Can Tomato Sauce (divided into 3)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix together thoroughly, meat, bread crumbs, eggs, onions, seasoning salt, Worcester sauce, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, and 1/3 of the tomato sauce.
- In the bottom of a baking dish spread another 1/3 of the tomato sauce, sprinkle two tbsp. of the brown sugar over the tomato sauce.
- Form your meat into a loaf and place on top of tomato sauce/brown sugar mixture.
- Take remaining tomato sauce and spoon over top of meat loaf. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp. of brown sugar on the top of the meatloaf.
- Bake 1.5 hours
- Let sit a few minutes, remove from baking dish, slice and serve…..