As I sit at my desk and write, I smell of A-1 Steak Sauce. That’s because I forgot my protective cooking gear, namely an apron. The belly of my t-shirt is wet from a hasty scrub of dishes, and you get the picture–I was rushed fixing dinner at the ranch tonight.
You see, my husband is coming home after a week of working across state borders in Moses Lake, WA. He’s an A&P mechanic, turning wrenches on planes. Work is up and down; right now it’s up thus he deserves a nice home-cooked meal after working 10 hours and driving home three.
Only thing is, I have no sense of time. My intentions ran high earlier today as I baked a yellow cake while hauling wood and building a fire to heat the house. He called on his break and I promised dinner in the oven by 7 p.m. Well, shoot-fire, it’s 7:15 and the dogs are near collapse because I forgot their 6 p.m. kibble. Who can keep track of all this AND write?
Rushing downstairs, tossing kibble into bowls I open the fridge. Hamburger. Oh, now I remember–I was going to make hamburger-lentil soup with cheddar dumplings. That’s out of the question at this late hour. Ah, meatloaf. That’s quick and the house will greet my hubby with a savory aroma. Oh, yeah, and I need to use up those mushrooms so I’ll saute them in garlic butter and toss them in the loaf. Scrumptious.
But alas, I’m out of Muir Glen Organic Ketchup (best ketchup in the universe, f.y.i.). Then I see the A-1 Sauce. That will pair nicely with the mushrooms. When our kids were little (they’re grown, so don’t think I left them in a chicken coop or something while hubby was away) they used to call A-1 Sauce, “9-1-1 Sauce.” Not sure why but we let the nickname stick. Tonight it fits; A-1 Sauce to the rescue!
Recipe From the Ranch: 9-1-1 Meatloaf
- 1.5 pounds hamburger
- 1/4 cup Panko crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 4 Tbsp. half and half
- 1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 package of sliced mushrooms (4 oz.)
- 3 cloves hard-neck garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. tarragon
- 1/4 cup A-1 Sauce
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Get the mushrooms sauteing in the butter with the garlic and tarragon. While that’s going, mix the rest of the ingredients (except A-1 Sauce) into the hamburger; don’t be prissy about using your hands. Do wash your hands after mixing. Once the mushrooms are smelling divine and are soft, add to the meatloaf mixture. I dump the mixture diagonally into a square glass baking pan and mound it into a loaf with a nice flat top. The measurement for the A-1 Sauce is an approximation. The idea is to cover the top of the loaf. Sprinkle with extra tarragon for garnish. Cover with foil and bake for one hour.
While making the meatloaf, I scrub a couple of Idaho potatoes, prick each side with a fork and toss into the oven. After 30 minutes, I flip the potatoes and start steaming fresh broccoli on the stove.
A note about the half and half–we don’t drink milk, and I bake with buttermilk. The only other dairy I have on hand is the hubby’s coffee creamer (and if your creamer is something like Irish Cream Coffee Mate, use your horse-sense and don’t put it in meatloaf).