There are so many things we love about Texas. The welcoming atmosphere, the abundance of culture, the sights and sounds–but most of all, the food.
We recently had the opportunity to partner with Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water, who sent an amazing box of goodies–all local brands from Texas. Sooo yum. Based on what they sent, we thought we should share one of our favorite ways to do meatloaf with you–and how to “have it your way,” by tweaking the core elements to your family’s liking. It’s kinda brilliant, if we do say so ourselves.
But first, check out this awesome array Ozarka sent us–so many delectable flavors. Texas really does bring out the best. ;)
Fun fact: Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water comes from three Texas springs, and has a uniquely Texan taste.
On to the meatloaf.
The main things you want in a meatloaf are:
- Ground meat – usually ground beef, but if you like to live on the wild side you can also use ground pork or chicken, or a mix. I’m not gonna go into vegan options here–this is meatloaf, people.
- Breadcrumbs – get pre-crumbled breadcrumbs or make your own. Some of my favorite meatloaf recipes have actually called for little chunks of day-old bakery bread. It gives it a unique texture that is really quite good.
- Eggs – whip ’em. Whip ’em good. Okay, not really. Just whisk ’em a bit so the yolks and the whites blend. Or you can omit one or the other. The point is to give the meat and breadcrumbs kind of a “glue” to form that delicious meatloaf.
- Spices – at least some salt and pepper, but you can also try getting fancy with some garlic powder, a dash of curry, or these incredible Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds we got in our Ozarka delivery box, from Taste Elevated.
- Veggies (or other additions) – Saute some onions, steam some carrots or broccoli, whatever you like–just make sure it’s chopped well, and gives a complimenting flavor.
- Sauce – This part is crucial. You CANNOT have a good meatloaf without sauce. Well, at least not in my opinion… It comes out rather dry and lonely. Growing up, we usually just used ketchup or a tomato-based sauce, but recently I’ve really come to love barbecue sauce. It makes your meatloaf all “eat me!” and seriously packs a punch of awesome. Ozarka sent some incredible options in our box, and we think you’d love them too (Snow’s BBQ Sauce, The Jelly Queens’ Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ Sauce, or even Yellowbird’s Habanero Sauce).
Note: We usually use 1-2lbs of ground meat per 9×5 bread pan, depending on the amount of extras we’re mixing in–and if you’re doing veggies, probably half a cup to a cup per loaf is plenty. Breadcrumbs about the same, and eggs 3-4.
This is my favorite part. Throw all your ingredients except the sauce in a big bowl and knead them together.
YES. That easy.
Ok next favorite part. Roll that mess into a log and press it into the pan. Gently, now! Let it pooch a little on the top, that’s okay. Then slather it with a healthy dose of sauce. And a little more.
Pop it in the oven at 350°F (or 180°C) for about an hour, till the sauce is bubbly and it’s getting a bit crispy on the edges. Check the internal temp to make sure it’s done, it should be at least 160°F (72°C) in the center.
Now that I’ve got your tummy all grumbly, you should probably grab some Paqui’s Tortilla Chips and whip up a side of Longhorn Texas Salsa while you wait for your meatloaf to cook. And don’t forget your Ozarka Water. You’ll need it with all those mouth-watering flavors.