Meatloaf War: Challenger’s Loaf Is Good

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2011

Venturing on to thin ice this week, I have tasted a worthy challenger to Helen Crenshaw’s famous meatloaf recipe we published last year to rave reviews. Since then, Davie County homes have been more peaceful, children have been healthier and lives have been more meaningful because of a good meatloaf.
Make your man a meatloaf, I advised young wives. Creamed potatoes or macaroni on the side. Some green beans, and … you’ve got a meal fit for a king.
Allen Martin, former head of Davie County Hospital, scoffed at my claim that Mrs. Crenshaw’s meatloaf recipe is the best there’s ever been.
“You’ve never tried mine,” he said. His late wife, Anne, who died in 1991, had a special meatloaf recipe that he recalled fondly.
Maybe you ought to let me sample it, I goaded.
So he did. His wife Pat and daughter Celeste cooked up a meatloaf recently and sent in an editorial sample. (Cooking samples are widely encouraged from our readers. Cakes and pies are always welcomed.)
Charlie Crenshaw, told of the challenger, promptly had an answer: “Nobody’s meatloaf is better than my Grandmaw’s!”
This requires some diplomacy …
They are two very different recipes. I loved them both, but there’s no way to claim one is superior. The Crenshaw recipe is a man’s meatloaf. The Martin recipe is sweet. The sauce has a lot of brown sugar, and it was wonderful.
It’s humbling but true: My most popular columns are about recipes. That may say something about my other topics, but everybody has to eat. Here is Allen Martin’s recipe:

Meatloaf Celeste
1˝ lb. ground beef, use chuck
1˝ c. fresh bread crumbs
1 onion, chopped fine or Orion powder
1˝ t. salt
1 egg
1Ľ t. pepper
3 cans tomato soup
˝ c. water
4˝ t. vinegar
4˝ t. brown sugar
3 t. mustard
3 t. Worchestershire sauce

(Cook at 350 degrees for 1-1/4 hour.) Mix beef, crumbs, onion, beaten egg, salt, pepper and ˝ can tomato soup. Form into loaf and put into shallow pan. *Combine rest into sauce and put in pot on stove over exhaust burner so it can warm up as loaf cooks. Cook loaf for 45 minutes, drain fat, pour sauce over for last 30 minutes.
*Use 3 cans of soup even if you only use 1 lbs. of beef …