Meatloaf Pucks

I really tried to think of a better name for this delicious entrée, but Meatloaf Pucks just seems appropriate. Obviously, marketing is not my forté. As a liberal arts major, I never set foot in the UALR** business building during college days. But God has a sense of humor, so he surrounded me in life with business major types, by virtue of birth and marriage. I’ve absorbed enough by osmosis to know that calling any food a “puck” is probably a bad idea. But we’re not selling this stuff, we’re making dinner.

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Meatloaf is one of my favorite things to eat, especially with sides of roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. This recipe originally appeared in a newspaper ad for a local grocery store. I modified the topping one day when I was out of brown sugar and liked the adaptation best. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that First born despises this dish. I made enough this week to have it for dinner two nights in a row, to her great despair. (Whoops, marketing flub again!)

Let’s eat.

Meatloaf Pucks, adapted from a recipe in a Kroger grocery ad many years ago.

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce, divided use

1 cup soft bread crumbs (I whiz up a few slices of bread in a food processor for this.)

1 small onion, very finely chopped

1 large egg, beaten

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup chili sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Heat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil, then set a rack inside.

Set aside 1/4 cup tomato sauce.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, remaining tomato sauce, bread crumbs, finely chopped onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, garlic salt, and pepper. Mix lightly but thoroughly. I keep a box of latex gloves in the kitchen for messy jobs, and I usually put on a pair of them here and mix this with my hands.

Divide the mixture into thirds and shape to form three pucks about 1 1/2 inches thick, weighing about 10 ounces each. Place on the rack inside the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of reserved tomato sauce with the chili sauce and dry mustard. (The dry mustard can clump; whisk to disperse if necessary.) Spoon over the flattened tops of the pucks.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until centers are no longer pink and register 160°F. on an instant thermometer. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. Half of one of these pucks makes a serving, so the recipe usually serves 6.

**University of Arkansas at Little Rock, whose mascot is the Trojan, speaking of unfortunate names…

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