Meatloaf with BBQ Sauce

As Meg embarked on her long journey along Route 66 with her sister Ann last month, I got a little taste of it living vicariously through her Facebook posts and texts keeping me up to date on all the important culinary news.

While the photographs of corn dogs and deep fried Twinkies kept me entertained, and definitely have an appeal all of their own (both the best in handheld food, and frying an already cream filled confection is a rare treat to be savored,) they don’t adapt well to the slow cooker. 

So in praise of Meg’s travel and all the stops along the way I settled on an American diner classic of Meatloaf with a BBQ sauce. I went in search of the perfect recipe and hit on a few variations but settled for a blend of ground pork and beef to keep it moist.

To source my recipe I looked at various diner stops along Route 66 and Route 66 Cadillac Diner homemade meat loaf is topped with sautéed mushrooms, onion straws & molasses glaze. Other recipes focused on the savory brown gravy version, usually calling for “packet brown gravy” thrown into the pot. I went for the tangy, tomato, BBQ sauce in the hope of satisfying my entire family, with no room for complaints.

It turned out as moist as I had hoped and held its shape, making it easy to slice while still hot. I have to admit that the leftovers made incredible sandwiches, a thick slice of meatloaf laid between two slices of toasted sourdough topped with fresh lettuce, sliced red onion, mayonnaise and a spoonful of that tangy BBQ sauce. 

Route 66 Meatloaf with Tomato BBQ Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 6-7 hours LOW / 3 hours HIGH, Servings 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 1/2 cups / 1 medium onion
  3. 2 tsp / 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1lb each of ground pork and beef
  5. 1 cup breadcrumbs
  6. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  7. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp oregano
  9. 1/2 tsp thyme
  10. *replace the 4 spices above with our Slow Cooker Spice Blend Coq Au Vin
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. 1 egg
sauce ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup ketchup
  2. 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  3. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  4. 4 tsp dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. heat the oil in a skillet on medium; soften the onion and garlic gently for 3 minutes
  2. remove from the heat and leave to one side
  3. in a large bowl combine the pork, beef, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, black pepper, oregano, thyme, salt and egg, mix with your hands until the ingredients are well blended
  4. add the onion & garlic mixture and mix until well blended
  5. shape the mixture into a loaf shape so that it is an even thickness
1st cooking method
  1. take three sheets of 12 inch square aluminum foil and lay on top of one another, folding the sides over by 1-2 inches on all sides
  2. sit the meatloaf on top of the foil and lower into the slow cooker
  3. cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3 hours
alternative cooking method for larger, oval shaped slow cooker
  1. spray a 2 lb loaf tin with non stick spray
  2. press the meatloaf into the tin
  3. lay the tin on a piece of aluminum foil
  4. cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3 hours
make the sauce
  1. combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and mustard in a saucepan and heat through for 2-3 minutes.
  2. remove the cooked meatloaf form the slow cooker, pour off any excess liquid from the bottom of the foil (it can be used as the basis for a gravy if you prefer)
  3. pour the BBQ sauce over the meatloaf and serve with creamy mashed potatoes
the zen of slow cooking http://www.blog.thezenofslowcooking.com/
Zen Moment

“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.”
― Erol Ozan

5 thoughts on “Meatloaf with BBQ Sauce

  1. This sounds yummy Jane!
    May be the first recipe to try in my new slow cooker in Nov! RAH!
    Thank you! Love the Rte 66 Sisters!

    • Thank you Sally! Let us know how it turns out. Also, someone asked a very valid question about why I sat the meatloaf on top of the foil. Here is my response:

      “There are a number of different shapes and sized of slow cookers and I happened to be using my Instant Pot brand when I made this. The pot itself is round and deep, therefore I needed something to raise and lower the meatloaf from the pot. If you are using a larger slow cooker with more space then you can spray the insert with non stick spray and put the loaf directly into it. I hope this helps!”

      • Ok now I get it. The foil in your first description served to help keep the loaf from falling apart. I have the Cuisenart oval cooker and will experiment this week. But I bought a 1# of ground turkey to mix with ground beef. We’ll see.

    • Hi Mary

      That is a really good point that I need to explain. There are a number of different shapes and sized of slow cookers and I happened to be using my Instant Pot brand when I made this. The pot itself is round and deep, therefore I needed something to raise and lower the meatloaf from the pot. If you are using a larger slow cooker with more space then you can spray the insert with non stick spray and put the loaf directly into it. I hope this helps!

      Jane

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