Classic Meat Loaf 

We love this meat loaf with its classic combination of beef, pork, and veal. Its secret ingredient is oatmeal, which replaces the traditional breadcrumbs. 

We think you will love it, too. Be sure to serve with lots of ketchup. 

Serves 6 

COOKER: Medium or large round or oval 

SETTINGS AND COOK TIMES: HIGH for 1 hour, then LOW for 6 hours; ketchup added during last 30 minutes 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1/2 cup minced onion 

1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin 

1/2 pound ground pork 

1/2 pound ground veal 

1 large egg (optional), beaten 

1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats 

1 cup ketchup 

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 

1 teaspoon salt

A few grinds of black pepper 

1. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook the onion, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes; let cool. 

2. Put the ground meats and egg, if using, in a large bowl. Add the sautéed onion, oats, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, the Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Using your hands or a large fork, mix gently but thoroughly, being careful not to compact the meat. 

3. Make an aluminum foil "cradle" that will help you easily remove the meat loaf from the slow cooker when it is done: Tear off a sheet of foil about 24 inches long. Place along the edge of the counter, and tear in half lengthwise. Fold each piece in half lengthwise, then in half again. Place the strips in the cooker in a cross shape, centering them. The edges of the strips will hang over the edge of the cooker. Place the meat mixture on top of the strips and shape into an oval or round loaf, depending on the shape of your cooker, by pressing it gently, evening out the top, and shaping it to fit your cooker. Bend the foil strips toward the meat loaf so they will not prevent the cover of the cooker from closing properly. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. 

4. Turn the cooker to LOW and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meat loaf registers at least 1600 to 165°F, about 6 hours. 

5. Thirty minutes before the end of cooking, bend the strips out of the way and pour the remaining 1/2 cup of ketchup over the meat loaf. Cover and cook for an-other 30 minutes on LOW. 

6. To serve, lift the meat loaf onto a cutting board or serving platter, using the foil "handles." Slide out and discard the foil strips. Slice the meat loaf and serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold the next day. 

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