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Meat Loaf with Tomato Sauce

The idea of finding slices of egg in the middle of a meat loaf always was exciting when we were kids. The egg may, of course, be eliminated, especially if you want meat loaf slices for sandwiches on the following day.

6 to 8 servings

Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Moodblue, stressed

Taste and Textureherby, juicy, meaty, savory

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fairly lean (but not too lean) ground chuck
  • 2 extra-large or jumbo eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • ½ scant teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled (optional)
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet butter, margarine, or corn oil
  • 1 cup coarsely cut-up canned tomatoes, liquid reserved
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and split in half vertically
  • 1 small bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Take the meat from the refrigerator and mix it with the beaten eggs, grated onion, pepper, and salt 30 minutes before you intend to start baking it. Shape half the meat into a layer and place the hard-cooked eggs lengthwise on it. Top the remaining meat and shape into a loaf. The loaf should be roughly an oval or oblong about 2 ½ inches high in the center if you do not use eggs, or a little higher if you do. Place in the center of a 9 x 15 inch baking pan. There should be about 1 ½ to 2 inches of space between the loaf and the sides of the pan.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Saute the green pepper and onion in the butter until soft but not brown. Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, and bay leaf. Keep the reserved liquid from the canned tomatoes on hand to be added to the sauce if it thickens too rapidly.

  4. Simmer the sauce for a minute or two, then pour around the meat loaf in the pan. Place in the middle of the oven. After 15 minutes, or when the top of the meat loaf is sealed, start basting with the sauce. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour if the eggs are inside; if there are no eggs, bake for 1 ½ hours to be moderately well done, or a little less if you like it rare, as I do. Add the tomato canning liquid to the pan juices if they thicken before the meat loaf is done.

  5. Serve the meat loaf sliced. Skim the fat off the sauce, adjust the seasoning, and serve on the side of spooned over the slices. Rice is a good accompaniment for this.

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