For the Meatloaf:
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 pounds of lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup of minced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of minced green bell pepper
- 1 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed fine
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup milk, only if needed
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, optional
- 1/2 tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet, optional
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup of ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Creole mustard
- 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
Place the 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Add the ground beef to a large bowl and top with the minced vegetables, crushed saltines, seasonings and egg. Gently mix, adding milk only as needed to moisten. Form into a loaf and place into slow cooker.
Combine the Worcestershire and Kitchen Bouquet if using and brush over the top of the meatloaf. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F in several places. Combine the glaze ingredients until well mixed; spread across the top of the meatloaf the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Use a wide spatula to carefully transfer meatloaf to a platter. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Cook’s Notes: I used a 93/7 lean ground beef. Avoid using fattier cuts of ground beef as meatloaf may crumble from the accumulated fat. Instead of the glaze, you may also serve the meatloaf with a brown gravy.
Burger Variation: Prepare meatloaf recipe as above, except shape into 4 to 6 individual burger patties. Sear the patties in hot oil in a preheated skillet to form a crust on both sides, transfer patties to crockpot. Combine the glaze ingredients with the 1/4 cup of water and spread evenly over the patties. May also substitute barbecue sauce if you prefer. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or 3 to 4 hours on high.