My mom's meatloaf is famous in our family. It was always a favorite when we were growing up and when I had my own family I made it just like her - ground beef, Lipton's onion soup mix, eggs, milk, and oats. I have since come up with my own adapted version, while still borrowing from her. I sauté onions, garlic, and finely chopped mushrooms, seasoned with salt + pepper. I add that to the beef along with soy sauce, Worchestershire, and Mom's eggs and oats. I don't follow a recipe, so I can't give you exact amounts, but here is a shot of the mixture so you can get a sense of what the oat ratio should be.

  That is three pounds of meat, two large onions, two large garlic gloves, a pound or so of mushrooms, and three eggs. The rest is eyeballed. This makes two loaves-one for tonight and one for the freezer.

That is three pounds of meat, two large onions, two large garlic gloves, a pound or so of mushrooms, and three eggs. The rest is eyeballed. This makes two loaves-one for tonight and one for the freezer.

About a year ago, my non-recipe obtained a new ingredient and it has taken my meatloaf to a whole new level of awesome (If I every so humbly say so myself). I apologize ahead of time, as this may be something that is hard to find where you are, but I do believe it is worth seeking out. Before popping my loaf in the oven I cover the top with Branston Pickle. I became obsessed with this most amazing condiment when I was lucky enough to visit my husband's relatives in Scotland years back and we now make sure my mother-in-law always brings some back in her suitcase after her yearly visits home. I was never a meatloaf-with-topping-baked-on person until the idea struck to use Branston while trying to describe its Worchestershire-like notes to one of my sisters. We gave it a try soon after, and a tradition was born. If you can find this magical stuff, I would urge you to grab it. You won't be sorry.

Side note: I had wanted to take a picture of the Branston-topped meatloaf, but we lost power for a few hours due to high winds taking out a tree, so our meatloaf became skillet-fried meatloaf patties. With Branston on the side, natch.

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