Mowing For Meatloaf

There’s one in every family. One of the essentials for any well-fed family is a good meatloaf recipe. When my Mom cooked on a riverboat, once the crew had tasted her version, it became a standard. Steve Hemplepp, a friend of my brother Mark, would cut Mom’s yard in exchange for a piece of this meatloaf. Neighbor ladies paid her in chickens for birthing their babies, and… But seriously now, next time you drive by Mom’s house, check out who’s behind that push-mower. It could be the singer Meatloaf himself. (Slices of this meatloaf cold make wonderful sandwiches.)-Naomi Judd

2-1/3 cups coarsely crushed soda crackers (1-1/2 tubes from package)
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 pound breakfast sausage patties
1 large egg
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, minced
3/4 cup ketchup plus 1/4 cup for the top
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 325° F. In a heavy-duty, plastic food-storage bag, place the crackers, seal, and roll over with a rolling pin until crushed but not powdery.

Take any rings off your fingers and send them to me! In a large bowl, with clean hands, mix together all the ingredients except the 1/4 cup ketchup for the top. Mix thoroughly but lightly, being careful not to pack the meat too much. Place in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan and shape into a loaf. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in the 325° F. oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil. Spread the top of the loaf with the 1/4 cup ketchup. Bake, uncovered, another 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Makes 10 Servings

This recipe is one of Naomi’s many “favorite recipes” from her cookbook titled, “Naomi’s Home Companion.”

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