Is there anything more homey and comforting than a meatloaf? It’s pretty much a giant meatball, if that meatball was the size and shape of a loaf of bread! What’s not to love about that? It’s savory, hearty and it’s got just the homemade touch to give everyone around the dinner table full stomachs and wide smiles.
If you’re a fan of Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf, Tess has you covered!
YouTube channel, TessCooks 4u features a copycat video recipe of Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf that the whole family is going to drool over! Made from simple ingredients you can easily pick up in the supermarket, it’s a breeze to prepare, and even easier to cook.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2x lbs of lean ground beef
1x small onion, finely diced
1/2x cup of bell pepper – finely diced (optional)
1 1/2x sleeves of Ritz crackers, crushed
4x oz. of sharp cheddar or colby cheese (grated)
1/2x cup of milk
1x teaspoon of salt
1/4x teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 – 3/4 cup of ketchup
2x tablespoons of brown sugar
1x teaspoon of mustard
First off, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get yourself a large bowl to use for mixing the main ingredients for the meatloaf itself.
An interesting feature of this recipe is the use of cracker crumbs rather than breadcrumbs, a streak of Tess’s genius.
“I usually use saltines or breadcrumbs in my meatloaf, but this recipe calls for Ritz cracker crumbs”
The crumbs give the recipe an extra saltiness, and the toastiness of the crackers gives the meatloaf a better overall flavour. Using a roller, pulverise the crackers into crumbs in a zip-lock bag.
In your bowl, mix your crumbs, bell peppers, onions, cheese, eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
A little beef never hurt nobody!
Add your ground beef. With your hands, mix until just combined. Now here’s the important bit: be careful not to over mix!
Next is the handsy bit!
Put your meatloaf mix onto a pan or tray lined with either foil or parchment paper. Nows your chance to get creative! Use all your sculpting skills to form that meaty mass into a beautiful loaf. Or, if creativity strikes, you could form in into whatever shape you like!
Bake that beef!
Pop the loaf into your preheated 350 degree F oven, and let it bake for 30 minutes. Now, you’ve got plenty of time to prepare your topping sauce. Put your ketchup and the rest of the topping ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Unlike the actual meatloaf mixture, these ingredients need to be very well combined. You can whisk with a fork, spoon or if you’ve got it…an actual whisk! Eh…Potato, tomato!
Pull it out, and pour it on!
After the 30 minutes have passed, pull the meatloaf out of the oven, and carefully brush your topping sauce over the top (obviously) of the loaf. When you’ve done that, it’s time to throw the loaf back into the oven for another 30-40 minutes. It’s done when the centre of the meatloaf is 160 degrees F. When it’s done, it’s ready for the family! Just let it stand for fifteen minutes before slicing up.
There you have it, a delicious, homemade Cracker Barrel favorite!
Next time you face a rainy night, or you want to prove it to the kiddies that you can make a meatloaf as good as any franchise can, this should be your go-to recipe. Tess even has a recipe for her Cracker Barrel copycat hash brown casserole, which happens to bake at the same temperature for an easy compliment to the meatloaf! Thanks Tess for your top-notch expertise!
Watch the full video below to see Tess’s recipe in action!
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Sweet and Savory
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