So, if you don’t have a thing for meat, this might not be the blog for you. Because really; I might be considered meat-obsessed. I get excited over different variations of meatloaf and meatballs. Sincerely excited. And yes, I realize that might be considered slightly pathetic, but that’s okay. I could be obsessed with worse things…like belly button lint or dust bunnies. And this thought just actually occurred to me, but do you realize that if belly button lint is left long enough, it could possibly turn into a DUST BUNNY? Wow. Now that will get you thinking.
But, I digress. We’re talking about meat, right? Yep. I love making meatloaf in the crock pot. If you’ve not tried out my other three versions: Traditional, Sweet Potato, and Cheeseburger, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Meat just makes bellies happy…I’m still thinking about belly button lint now.
Now, I don’t really like kraut alone. I’ll eat it in stuff – like Kraut Salad. I just don’t care for the overwhelming flavor. So here’s a trick of mine (that likely everyone already does, but don’t tell me): I rinse my kraut with water and drain. That really cuts the strong flavor and I am happy eating it then.
Another favorite of mine for meatloaf = dehydrated chopped onions. I just LOVE them in meatloaf. I don’t know why. I think because they’re smaller than chopped onions and I think they give a wonderful flavor. I use these beauties a lot. My father-in-law used to put crushed Funyuns in his meatloaf…I think he was on to something.
For this particular loaf, I decided to use the mixer to mix my meat – idea from my awesome Mama. In the winter, my hands get really dry and cracked. Did you know that raw meat on cracked hands feels like hell fire and brimstone? True story. It’s like you’re submerging them into boiling cauldrons of hot water. No thanks. Still gotta have my meatloaf though – enter, mixer! Just make sure to only mix until combined. Otherwise you’re gonna have a tough loaf of meat – and that’s sad…might rank it up there with Fruit Cake (note from Barry: fruit cake is awesome. It doesn’t deserve the bad reputation. Don’t be a hater.).
A trick for crock pot loaves – make sure to form into a loaf in the center of the crock…this will allow a moat to form and you can trap the fat. Trap the fat. Trap the fat. That’s fun to say. It sounds like an infomercial.
See all that beautiful fat around the edges? Now it’s easy to pour off. Or, if you’re a kitchen klutz like me, you might want to cut the loaf into two pieces and lift out with a spatula. Otherwise you might end up with a loaf of meat in the kitchen sink. I hear that happens to OTHER PEOPLE. *Cough*
Keep the fat for frying your eggs the next morning. Delicious! I <3 fat. And meatloaf. But not belly button lint.
I know this post is seemingly random. But rest assured this entire post is all about how to make a delicious meatloaf and avoid belly button lint. Actually, I have no idea how to avoid belly button lint. I don’t even know where it comes from.
But anyway, meat loaf is the bomb. This version is one of my best ones yet – except for the prior three. They are good too – they’re all my favorites. Like a mother loves all her children the same – that’s the way I feel about my meat loaves.
Meat – it’s what’s for dinner.
Crock Pot German Meatloaf
- 1 pound ground beef (or venison)
- 1 pound ground breakfast sausage
- 1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (can leave out, but they really help make this tasty)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Ketchup if desired
- Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
- Shape into loaf in a 5 quart crock.
- Spread top with ketchup if desired.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for one hour.
- Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 6 more hours.
- Drain off fat.
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Yield: 6-8 servings
NOTE: This makes FANTASTIC meatloaf sandwiches!