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.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups / 1 medium onion
- 2 tsp / 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1lb each of ground pork and beef
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- *replace the 4 spices above with our Slow Cooker Spice Blend Coq Au Vin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tsp dijon mustard
- heat the oil in a skillet on medium; soften the onion and garlic gently for 3 minutes
- remove from the heat and leave to one side
- 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
- add the onion & garlic mixture and mix until well blended
- shape the mixture into a loaf shape so that it is an even thickness
- 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
- sit the meatloaf on top of the foil and lower into the slow cooker
- cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3 hours
- spray a 2 lb loaf tin with non stick spray
- press the meatloaf into the tin
- lay the tin on a piece of aluminum foil
- cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3 hours
- combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and mustard in a saucepan and heat through for 2-3 minutes.
- 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)
- pour the BBQ sauce over the meatloaf and serve with creamy mashed potatoes
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.”
― Erol Ozan