This is a simple meatloaf recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I really like it. However, my favorite use for it is as leftovers for grilled sandwiches (see my notes below). In fact I usually make two meatloafs so I'll have more leftovers.
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons snipped parsley (I don't know why so many cookbooks recommend using scissors to snip parsley. It works much faster to quick-chop with a knife)
1 tspn salt
1/2 tspn ground sage (I use fresh sage, minced, and probably end up with nearly a tablespoon. I really love sage and this is one of my favorite parts of this recipe)
1-1/2 pounds ground beef (Actually, I use 1 lb ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork. You could probably use other mixtures [I've seen ground veal used too], so long as it is 1-1/2 lbs total)
1/4 Cup catsup (For the topping. I NEVER do this, I can't stand having a catsup-style topping on my meat loaf)
2 tblspns brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Combine eggs and milk; stir in breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, salt, sage, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper (I probably use much more pepper, I just hold the grinder over it and grind away. The breadcrumbs will soak up the liquids and make a consistency like oatmeal). Add ground meat; mix well. Pat into a 5-1/2 cup ring mold; unmold in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350deg oven for 50 minutes. Or, pat mixture into an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan; bake for 1-1/4 hours (I always use the loaf pan, because it shapes it better for leftover sandwiches. I also drain out excess grease about 45 minutes into the baking). Combine catsup, sugar, and mustard; spread over meat. Return to oven for 10 minutes (like I said, I NEVER use the topping. I do continue baking it for another 5 or 10 minutes under the assumption this cooking time is required). Makes 6 servings.
For leftover-meatloaf grilled sandwiches, first find some good crusty dense bread (you can never find it at grocery stores, go to Paneras or Whole Foods). Cut the meatloaf into 1/2in slices and make sandwiches using the meat loaf, several slices of swiss cheese, and grilled onion. Butter the outside of the sandwiches and the skillet and grill on both sides until the bread is browned and the cheese melts. Sometimes it helps to warm up the leftover meatloaf slightly in a microwave; otherwise it may not heat through, although if you grill slowly it shouldn't be a problem. Actually, you end up with something like a "patty melt" sandwich.
I'm a big grilled sandwich fan. Here are some hints for good ones:
Don't use "wonderbread", get a good-quality bread.
The bread is better if it is slightly stale. In fact, if it is too soft I may dry it out in a slow oven.
I cover the skillet when grilling the first side of the sandwich. This heats up the sandwich better and helps melt the cheese. When I flip the sandwiches to grill the other side, I leave the lid off, otherwise trapped steam can make the grilled side soggy.
This hint is rather important if you're REALLY into grilled sandwiches - serve it on some kind of rack rather than laying it on a plate. For example I put a cake cooling rack on top of a platter and put the sandwiches on the rack. If you put it flat on a plate, the underside of the sandwich gets all soggy instead of staying crisp. Trust me, this really makes a difference.