I've always enjoyed meatloaf, and I have fond memories of my grandmother's version- unfortunately, despite many attempts, I'd never really been able to make it very well. The taste was merely acceptable, the texture subpar.
Until last Fall, that is, when I discovered The Trick. I was following a meatloaf recipe that called for pork sausage, an ingredient I'd never thought to include, and it was wonderful. The texture perfect, the flavor outstanding. I will never, ever make meatloaf without it again!
The best part? I use the cheap stuff. No joke, the tube of sausage that's $1.50/lb. The stuff that's a little fattier than the expensive stuff and you really wouldn't want to fry up as patties for breakfast.
Super cheap- and for some reason PERFECT when combined with pretty much any other ground meat. In fact, I think I oddly prefer meatloaf made with that cheap pork sausage and ground chicken to ground beef! Weird, right? I know.
Anyway, my stepson came over for dinner last night and I needed to throw something together for us to eat. My husband and I had spaghetti squash and meatballs with salad (yum!) and my daughter and stepson had standard spaghetti and meatballs.
Except this wasn't "standard" at all... I used marinara made with tomatoes I canned from last Summer's garden (more on that recipe this Summer when I have a garden to play in!) and homemade meatballs, you guessed it- made with that same cheap sausage.
And they were divine!
Easy to put togehter- and it was made all the easier by the fact that I used an 1/8 cup scoop to help form uniform balls. Plus it made a HUGE batch, so I froze half of them to cook and use later. Awesome, right? This batch fed three adults and one kiddo with enough remaining for leftovers and I still have half a batch leftover in the freezer for next time! Score!
There's something magic that happens when you add that cheap, good-for-little-else pork sausage into meatloaf or meatballs- and this recipe is no exception. I'll DEFINITELY be making this one again- and looking forward to cooking up the meatballs I have waiting for me in the freezer too!
2 1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb pork sausage
2/3 C bread crumbs
1/2 C sautéed onion
1/2 C parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp cayenne
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients well using stand mixer with paddle attachment. Form meatballs into 2 Tbsp balls. Place on baking sheet and cook until meatballs reach internal temp of 165 degrees F (about 20 minutes), flipping halfway through cooking. Add to simmering sauce if desired.