Try this $5 recipe: Meatloaf

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My grandmother and grandfather had six kids; five boys and one girl. If she could feed five teenage boys and three normal people on this recipe (conceivably through doubling it a few times), by my math, it could feed Aquinnah in the winter. In anticipation of cooler days, try out Grannie Annie’s meatloaf. The sauce is MV Times editor Connie Berry’s own home recipe.

Note: My ingredients were purchased at Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop in late August. All measures are approximate.

Ingredients

For the meatloaf:

1-2 lbs. ground beef, $7.55 (for 1 lb.)
1 egg per pound of beef (2 eggs for 2 pounds, 1 egg for 1 pound), $2.79
1 meatloaf seasoning packet or French onion soup packet (Grannie Annie uses Lipton’s), $1.89
Water as needed
Bread crumbs as needed, $2.19

For the sauce:

⅓ cup ketchup, $2.19
Heaping tablespoon mustard (Connie recommended a grainier kind, which has more flavor than the traditional bright yellow), $2.99
Heaping Tbsp. brown sugar, $2.19

Procedure

Optional: Make breadcrumbs. I used half a loaf of bread leftover from a bread pudding. If you have any stale or unused bread, it will work.

Preheat oven to 450°. Slice the bread and lay it out on a baking sheet. Put it in the oven and leave it to bake for about 10 minutes, or until it smells like toast. Flip if the other side isn’t toasty. The bread should be toasted all the way through. Take out of the oven and run through the food processor until the bread is broken down into crumbs.

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine beef, egg, and half of the meatloaf seasoning packet (add the whole if doing two pounds beef; add whole soup packet regardless). Mix with hands or spoon. If the mixture seems dry, add water. If the mixture seems too wet, add breadcrumbs.

When it’s holding together well, put it in a glass or ovenproof baking dish. Shape into a loaf. Pour water until it’s ¼ inch high around the loaf. This is for moisture.

Poke three holes in the meatloaf in a line from the top of the loaf going straight down through the loaf. (Grannie Annie’s mother served it this way for reasons long ago forgotten.)

Combine the sauce ingredients, ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar, in a bowl and drizzle over the loaf.

Put the loaf in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. To check if it’s done, poke it with a knife, and if the juice comes out red, continue to cook.

By the numbers

Total cost: $21.79
Serves: 5
Price per head: $4.36