|Dad, on the left, with his brother in the sixties|
Dad loved life, laughter and good food. He had more enthusiasm than anybody I know and was so supportive of us in all of our endeavors, especially my dutch oven cooking. He'd start the day asking what we were having for dinner and loved testing my new recipes. He'd tactfully offer suggestions when needed, relishing in his new role as food critic, and I came to rely on his opinion before posting a recipe on my blog.
I wanted to honor my father in some small way by preparing one of his famous recipes in my dutch oven. Dad was a master griller, deep dish pizza maker, breakfast chef and he cooked with a smoker long before it became popular. When we were young we jumped for joy when he made us his delicious 'footballs'. Basically, he'd form ground beef patties into the shape of footballs, cook them under the broiler and serve them with a side of canned B and B Mushroom Sauce. We thought we were eating filet mignon at a five-star restaurant.
This recipe for Little Cheddar Meatloaves is a big more lavish but much the same in principle. The original recipe calls for 8 little loaves but I wanted them to be more substantial and made four in my 10 inch oven. Don't be alarmed when you form them into 'footballs', it makes a wet mixture, however, they bake up into the moistest, juiciest meatloaves I have ever tasted. They baked for 45 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 24 on top. After 20 minutes I removed some of the center coals and finished them off with the remaining briquettes in a ring around the outside of the lid.
I must confess, I was a little nervous at first firing up my coals today, it's been a while, I had to carefully think about the steps of dutch oven cooking again. It's been a perfect spring day for backyard cooking, sunny and in the sixties, I know Dad would have loved this recipe and I think you will too.
Little Cheddar Meatloaves
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp mustard
Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
Beat together egg and milk.
Stir in cheese, oats, onion, salt and pepper.
Add ground beef and mix well.
Shape into 4 loaves and place in prepared dutch oven.
Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard.
Spoon topping over loaves.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in center.
Makes 4 servings.
|Shape meat mixture into little 'footballs', then cover with sauce|