The Lean Green Bean

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crockpot Meatloaf

Hi Friends!

Like I mentioned crockpot Monday was derailed by frozen meat...but have no fear, we're back on track and good news! Crockpot Tuesday works out just as well. It gave me time to clean the house and get shower glass estimates instead of cooking dinner. Such is my exciting life :)

Anyways, I found this blog post about crockpot meatloaf and even though I had no intention of following the actual recipe, I was inspired enough that I knew I needed to give it a try! So this week I finally got around to removing it from my bookmarked "to be tried" list and actually trying it.

As is the case with meatballs, I enjoy making meatloaf because you can't really mess it up. I mean, there are not many foods that you can just throw a bunch of meat, veggies, and seasonings in a bowl:

 Mash it together into a loaf shape

Add some heat and produce something edible! Such is the wonder of meatloaf. Some day I will share my mom's recipe for Cajun meatloaf with all of you. But to get it to taste right, you have to follow a recipe and there's lots of  steps...and considering it was:

almost midnight when I finally had time to make this loaf, I opted for the recipe free quick version. No two meatloaf attempts are the same in my house because I just throw in whatever I have laying around. Today's version contains ground turkey, lots of garlic, onion, green pepper and mushrooms. The seasonings include McCormicks, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, black pepper and cayenne pepper...and of course an egg and some breadcrumbs. Throw everything in the bowl, mix it together, form into a loaf and you're good to go. If I'm making it in the oven, I usually form it into two smaller loaves or scoop it into muffin tins so that it cooks faster...but since I was using the crockpot- I went for the jumbo log! I coat my meatloaf with bbq sauce before, during and after I cook it. If you're not a bbq fan, you can use ketchup, or just leave it plain. Some people also like to use Parmesan cheese in their meatloaf, or to put some blocks of cheese in the middle of the loaf for a cheesy surprise! Do some experimenting and find your favorite version!

Put it in your crockpot and cook on low for 3 1/2 hours or until meat is cooked through. I checked temperature after 3 hours and it was just under 150 degrees.

So on went the lid for another 20 minutes.....tick..tick...tick...ALL DONE! Carefully remove from the pot, slice, top with more bbq sauce and serve! If you did the math, you'd know mine took about 3 hours and 20 minutes. The original recipe said 4-5 hours so monitor yours closely the first time you make it so you can figure out how long it takes in your crockpot.

The verdict? Good! Tastes just like it does when you cook it in the oven. The only difference is that the bbq sauce on top doesn't form the same kind of crust as it does in the oven. But the hubby couldn't tell the difference which was exactly what I was going for. I didn't expect that it would be better, I just wanted to see if it would be as good, so that I would have the option of making it either way in the future.

Definitely give this one a try!



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