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Crock-pot® meatloaf is a food that is made from ground beef, prepared using a process known as slow cooking. Unlike traditional meatloaf recipes that use a standard oven, crock-pot® meatloaf is cooked in a large electric pot known as a crock-pot® or slow cooker. The ground beef is typically formed into a single segment that resembles a loaf. The cake-like slab is then seasoned, and commonly topped with tomato sauce or canned tomatoes, then allowed to cook slowly in the crock-pot® for several hours.
Most crock-pot® meatloaf recipes call for a bread crumb coating. This will typically be prepared using ingredients such as egg or egg wash and cubed pieces of bread. The mixture is then brushed on to the loaf of meat. Tomato sauce, either homemade or from a jar can be poured directly over the meat. Alternately, ketchup may be used when preparing crock-pot® meatloaf.
Several variations for making crock-pot® meatloaf may be used. Some people prefer to use fresh chopped onions and parsley that is mixed throughout the ground beef, before shaping it into a loaf. Other seasonings may include salt and pepper or oregano. Oregano and tomato sauce are traditional Italian style ingredients for meatloaf, but for a Mexican flavor, salsa or chili sauce may be used. Additionally, Jalapeno peppers may be added to the meatloaf, which may also topped with shredded cheese for a Mexican flavor.
When preparing crock-pot® meatloaf, it must be cooked on a low setting for approximately six or seven hours. This method of slow cooking will allow the flavor to seep through and cook the meat evenly and thoroughly. Cooking meatloaf in a crock-pot® is also convenient for many, as it is self contained without the requirement of other pots or pans.
Some people like to prepare crock-pot® meatloaf in a ceramic dish or loaf pan that is placed directly into the crock-pot®. This makes it easy to hold the shape of the loaf and keep it from crumbling or falling apart while cooking. It is important to be sure this pan is heat resistant and compatible for crock-pot® use.
Typically, crock-pot® meatloaf is created as a main entree. Most people serve this crock-pot® recipe with one or two other sides. Side dishes for meatloaf may include potatoes or rice, and any type of vegetable.