Not everything in our kitchen is haute cuisine. I've given up Hamburger Helper now that the kids are raised and I'm not working 40-plus hours a week at a hospital, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in food that's easy. And I'm frequently on the prowl for new meatloaf recipes, since the guy who sits across the table from me loves it in almost any iteration. I found the basic recipe for this at the website southernplate.com, and did a little hacking.
Doing it in a crockpot produces a meatloaf that doesn't heat up the kitchen, and is much more about meat and gravy than the usual version. No breadcrumbs or oatmeal to stretch the meat, just an egg to hold it together and the packet of seasoning. The resulting gravy, with as much fat spooned off as possible, thank you, is luscious.
Christy Jordan, who writes the blog, points out that you can use ground turkey in this; I used chuck. She also uses a can of condensed tomato soup instead of my Ro-Tel, and adds the possibility of a quarter-cup of ground flaxseed to be mixed with the meat. Not that you'd find any of that around here, I fear. If I were cooking for folks who didn't do spicy food, I'd probably haul some of my standard tomato sauce out of the freezer and substitute about a cup for the tomatoes and chiles. The Ro-Tel is the one with lime juice and cilantro, my favorite for making chili.
2 lbs. ground beef
1 large egg
1 packet dried onion-and-mushroom soup mix
1 can condensed mushroom soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles
Mix together the meat, egg and soup mix. (Does anyone not use their hands for this?) Form it into a ball or a loaf, depending on the size of your slow cooker, and place it in the bottom of the cooker. Spoon the mushroom soup over the top of the meat mixture and around it. Add the Ro-Tel.
Christy asks for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. I did 2 hours on high and 4 on low, and it was done. (This is a good place to use a meat thermometer) I removed quite a lot of the extra fat from the gravy, and didn't thicken it any further.