I grew up in an era when packaged foods were preferred to fresh. My mother, the Great Spam (do click on the link) Queen, thought that only little old immigrant ladies stood over the stove all day, stirring and sniffing and tasting. Why would anyone do that when the freezer's stocked with frozen waffles?
Then, sometime in the eighties,the food world shifted on its skewer. Suddenly, we were all making pesto (Who would have known what pesto was a mere ten years before? That old woman at the stove, that's who.), and cooing over baby arugula, which led to the whole foodie cult(ure). I can't exclude myself from it, either. I have frozen curry leaves in the freezer and Maldon sea salt on the table. But I also have a box of Lipton Onion Soup Mix in the closet. I bet you do, too.
Have you ever used it to make soup? I didn't think so. It's either the dip, which all people of good will admit that they have never stopped loving, or the meatloaf. Looking idly at the two recipes on the back of the box the other night, I had a "your peanut butter got on my chocolate" moment. Why notmake an onion-soup dip meatloaf? Okay, I'm sure you can think of plenty of reasons. I'm went ahead anyway. It emerged from the oven moist, tangy, and sublimely oniony.
I used about a pound and a half of ground meat, mostly beef, with some veal and pork mixed in. You can use all beef, of course. Then, in goes 1/2 packet onion soup mix (shake it to make sure it is well blended), a 1/3 or so cup chopped onion, 2 eggs, 6 or so tablespoons sour cream, a dash or two of hot sauce, ditto Worcestershire sauce, and a squirt of ketchup. Salt and pepper, of course. Now, squish it all together with your hands. Add dry breadcrumbs, until the mixture almost holds together. Let stand for about five minutes, during which the breadcrumbs will swell somewhat and absorb more moisture. At this point, you can take a spoonful of the meatloaf mix and fry it, then adjust the seasoning. Not necessary, but if you like fiddling about in the kitchen, go right ahead.
Form into a loaf. Or a ring. That worked for me once or twice. Ends for everybody! I like to glaze it with a blend of ketchup and hot sauce, but that might be too downmarket for some of you, not that it isn't downmarket enough already.
Bake at 350 for about an hour. Let rest for a few minutes before serving. Draw the curtains.