Recipe by Jennifer Cross
My mother makes something she calls "Godfather Meatloaf." When I decided to try duplicating this, I wound up with this recipe, which my friends promptly dubbed "Monster Meatloaf" because it comes out with so much food.
- 5 lbs ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped into pieces no larger than 1/4-inch
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped as above
- 2 cups chopped raw mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic clove
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (You can also use Shake and Bake, or ground up croutons)
- 2 eggs
- 1 (26 ounce) can spaghetti sauce
- 1⁄2 lb swiss cheese, very thinly sliced (motzerella is an acceptable substitute. If the butcher tells you the cheese is going to start breaki)
- 1⁄2 lb pastrami, very thinly sliced (corned beef is an acceptable substitute)
- salt and pepper (Or Tony Chachere's)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350 (you can easily wait to do this until after the ingredients are mixed together, as it takes awhile to make the rolls).
- Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce over the bottom of two 10"x10"x3" pans. Corning or other glass wear works best, as metal tends to burn the bottom. Don't use too much sauce, you'll need it for later.
- Mix the vegetables, ground beef, garlic, eggs, and breadcrumbs in a very large bowl. Using your hands to do this is messy, but prevents the meat from breaking up too much while still getting it blended. Having a helper nearby to hand you stuff or pour stuff into the bowl for you makes for a much less messy kitchen in the end.
- Lay out a sheet of wax paper, roughly two feet long. Take half of the mixture and spread it out into a 9" by 18" rectangle. Try to keep the mixture fairly evenly spread out.
- Lay out half of the cheese in a layer on top of the mixture. Repeat with half of the meat slices. If you can manage to hold back four slices of the cheese, do so, but don't worry too much about it if you can't.
- Use the wax paper to roll up the meat until you have a 9" long loaf. Lift this into your pan by picking up the wax paper and rolling the loaf into a pan so that the seam is on the bottom. Fold the meat on the ends to seal off the loaf.
- Pour half of the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top and ends of the loaf. Make sure you cover the whole thing.
- Repeat this process for the other half of the mixture. You should have two rolls when you are done.
- Put a layer of foil down on the oven rack (these things do drip) and place both pans in if they'll fit. Cookie sheets work too, but generally aren't long enough.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 1.5 hours.
- If you have cheese slices left, lay them over the top in the last 10 minutes of baking.
- Allow to cool for as long as you can hold out, and then cut 1" slices and serve.
- Serves: In theory? About 16 people. In reality? You're lucky if 4 people don't demolish a single loaf by themselves.
- Some notes:.
- I use Italian or garlic and herb bread crumbs and spaghetti sauce. It adds flavor and allows you to cut back on the amount of salt, pepper, or Tony's you use. You can also chop herbs and include them in the mix.
- Sometimes the rolls will not cook all the way down. Cut down the middle and check the bottom layer. If it's still pink, cook the rolls for another 30 minutes.
- You can prevent the top from drying by scooping the juices over the top every 20 minutes or so. Or you can be a lazy bum like me and just scoop them over your slice when you serve up.
- Spatulas are your friend in getting the slice out of the pan. And while perfect slices look pretty on the plate, you're just going to tear it up anyways, so don't get all worked up over it.
- Yes, this creates two very large, very meaty rolls. Yes, it's possible (in theory) to cut the recipie in half. Make two anyways. Trust me, you're going to want it, and it tastes better on the second day anyways. If you're not sure you can eat it all, invite a couple of friends over.
- If you insist on a side dish, do a salad or green veggies. This is a meal in a slice, and you'll feel it when you're done. Side dishes are for when you actually want to be able to serve 16 people and not have them pout over the lack of seconds.