I’m surprised there’s not a meatloaf blog, where every day illustrates a different version of the loved (or not) fare. There are a few blogs with meatloaf in the title, but they turn out to be about other things, even when they are about cooking. Maybe I’m overstating people’s love of meatloaf. I probably make it once every two or three weeks with variations. Today, I was faced with having no breadcrumbs, so I’m using rolled oats for the filler. It’s been a long time since I’ve used oats, but I remember them adding a sweetness to the mix. For the meat, I’m using one pound of ground beef and one pound of Jimmy Dean® Sage Sausage, which means a lot of the flavoring is already done for me. I’ve been using this sausage in meatloaf for a while, to rave reviews.
Still, it’s just another meatloaf.
Meatloaf with Oatmeal and Sausage
Preheat oven to 350°
3/4 cup rolled oats (not the quick cooking variety)
1/2 cup milk
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon bacon fat—for a nice smoky flavor
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 eggs, beaten
1 lb ground beef
1 lb Jimmy Dean® Sage Sausage (or your favorite country sausage)
salt & pepper
- Combine rolled oats and 1/2 cup milk in large mixing bowl. Decide later if you need more milk.
- Sauté the onion, seasoned with salt & pepper, in the bacon fat over medium heat until translucent. Pour over the oats and milk and let sit until cool. This also allows the oatmeal to soften a bit in the milk and warm onions. An alternative would be to microwave the oats and milk for about 1 minute and then cool. I like to wait until the oats have absorbed most of the milk, because there is nothing else in this meatloaf to soak it up. This is your substitute for bread crumbs.
- When the mixture is cooled, stir in the beaten eggs, tomato paste, and parsley.
- Mix in the meats with your hands until it’s all combined well, adding more milk if needed. I found 1/2 cup to be plenty.
- Shape into a loaf and place in an oblong baking dish with space around the loaf, so it doesn’t touch the sides of the dish.
- Bake for about 1 hour or until the center reaches 165°; remove to platter to serve.