Crockpot Meatloaf

The crockpot is actually perfect for meatloaf because it leaves it moist and crumbly. The resulting “loaf” is shaped more like a pie, but if you keep it away from most of the liquid and fat, it keeps its good odd shape.
2 pounds “meatloaf mix” (1/3 ground beef, 1/3 ground pork, 1/3 ground veal)
1 cup V8 hot and spicy tomato juice
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 ground black pepper
3-4 strips bacon, uncooked
Crockpot: Crumple a few pieces of aluminum foil into balls and drop them into the bottom of the crockpot to prevent the loaf from soaking in the fat. For easy pull-out handles, fold two 30-inch long pieces of foil in half lengthwise. Place in bottom of a 2-qt slow cooker with ends hanging over top edge of cooker, the two strips forming a cross on top of the foil balls. In a large bowl combine meat, tomato juice, oats, egg, chopped onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Mix lightly but thoroughly. Press into crockpot and top with bacon strips. Set on low for 6-8 hours. Pull out meatloaf using foil handles and lay on plate. Serve with ketchup or a glaze of ketchup, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
Conventional Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine meat, tomato juice, oats, egg, chopped onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Mix lightly but thoroughly. Press into an 8×4 inch loaf pan. Top with bacon strips. Bake for 1 hour, or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Drain. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Variation: This is supposed to be a good stand-alone recipe, but I tweaked it and added 3 tablespoons of Goya bottled Sofrito (from the ethnic section of the grocery) and lots of Tabasco into the mixture. I like taste-testing these recipes before cooking by microwaving a dollop of the mixture into a saucer and nuking it for 30 seconds or so. I served it with Filipino spaghetti and it was great, otherwise I would have used a glaze on top by mixing ketchup, brown sugar and lemon juice.


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