Welcome back, fans of the children’s book Katt vs. Dogg! For others, welcome, and I assume that since you’re here that you like meatloaf. Well, get ready, folks, because this is the doggone tastiest meatloaf I’ve ever made. Ever.
- Click here to skip to the recipe for Mama Dogg’s Meatloaf.
- Click here to skip to the recipe for Mama Dogg’s Meatloaf Sandwiches.
The Dogg Days of Summer
If you are unfamiliar with James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein’s Katt vs. Dogg, this story teaches about societal discrimination, propaganda, and cooperation through the eyes of anthropomorphic animals. To quote my last post on this book:
In a world of anthropomorphic animals, there is no greater hatred than that between katts and doggs. The story opens on a road rage race between two families, one feline, the other canine, towards a fun-filled camping trip at Western Frontier Park. We see spit, insults, and hairballs fly before the katts and doggs tromp off to their separate, species-specific campsites.
Their isolated, bacon-filled bliss cuts short, though, when a flying squirrel and butterfly draw out and then lose young Oscar Dogg and Molly Hisselton into the deep woods. Lost, alone, and chased by a hungry mountain lion, Oscar and Molly find themselves in the most unlikely of alliances to find their way back home.
This particular week, though, I feel it necessary to post this recipe. This being the week after white supremacists invaded our Capitol, that is. I don’t feel like I should have to reiterate that bigotry is wrong and stupid. But as someone who also grew up around racist and bigoted attitudes, I also know how easy it is to succumb to them.
So with that, I say this. Those called out on their bigotry — listen to what is being said and understand that there is no shame in admitting you or your upbringing was wrong. Just because a message doesn’t sound tactful doesn’t mean that it is any less correct. If you consider yourself a moral person, also understand that character isn’t a born-in trait. It is built, developed, and maintained. Neglect it, and you just as in danger of falling to its darkest extremes.
A Meal Fit for a Dogg
Today’s recipe comes from early in the book Oscar Dogg’s family goes hiking:
“Did you hear?” he said to his dad.
“One of those katts we met on our first day here is missing!”
“Good,” said his father. “One less for me to chase up a tree.”
“Duke?” said Oscar’s mom. “Honestly. We’re on vacation.”
“Maybe. But a true dogg’s hatred of katts never takes a day off.”
“Totally,” said Fifi. “They’re, like, so prissy. And cheesy. Their butts smell like cheese.”
“Cheese?” said Oscar. “Is there cheese on the meatloaf sandwiches?” “Yes, dear,” said his mother. “Peanut butter, too.” “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!”
Patterson, James; Grabenstein, Chris. Katt vs. Dogg (pp. 31-32). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
Meatloaf, cheese, and peanut butter — in sandwich form. I read this book on request from Twitter User @PrinceZeneon for a Kattfish Stew recipe. When I read this passage, though, my proverbial tail started wagging. If you know me at all, you would know I like a weird flavor combination challenge.
My first challenge? Making a dog-friendly meatloaf. Granted, I have a little more flexibility than my fictional cat challenges. There are still ingredients, though, your dog should not eat. Garlic and onions, two meatloaf-staples, are some of them.
So instead, I blended peas, carrots, and celery into my beef and breakfast sausage mixture. Another ingredient best avoided is xylitol – a sugar alcohol that can cause hyperglycemia in dogs. Check your labels to make sure your premade ingredients don’t contain it.
My second challenge? Developing an easy-to-make meatloaf sandwich. Part of that was reducing the number of starting ingredients — which I did though writing extra sauce into the initial recipe. I also made this recipe camping and skillet friendly by using mayo instead of butter to griddle the bread.
One thing though about this sandwich, however, it’s richer than Scrooge McDuck. Half is more than enough to satisfy in one sitting. I won’t stop you from making a delicious bad decision, though. If you do, make sure to pair it with a light, frosty beverage of your choice!
Sing for your Supper!
If you plan to cook the recipe off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I now have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.
The printable recipe cards and playlist for Mama Dogg’s Meatloaf and Sandwiches will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until the next post goes up.
You can instead join my Patreon community at the “Sing for your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. Patrons of all reward tiers will even receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January 2019 to get you started.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!
Mama Dogg's Meatloaf
Equipment: Oven, stovetop, skillet, food processor, spatula, mixing bowl, and 5″x 9″ loaf pan.
- 2 Tb unsalted butter
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1.25 lb ground chuck (80/20 ground beef)
- 1 lb ground pork sausage
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard
- Pulse the carrots and celery in a food processor until finely minced. Preheat the skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Pour the ketchup and mustard into a separate dish with brown sugar and ginger. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the skillet. When it starts foaming, add the minced vegetable and stir-cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in 1/3 cup of ketchup mixture, 1/4 cup of water, and the frozen peas. Cook for 3 minutes, then stir in another 1/4 cup of water. Allow to cook an additional 2 minutes before transferring to a mixing bowl.
- When the vegetables are cool to the touch, add the ground chuck and sausage, breadcrumbs, and eggs to the bowl. Mix with your hands until distributed.
- Upend the meat mixture into the loaf pan and distribute it with a spatula. Spread a third cup of the ketchup sauce on top of the loaf. Let the loaf rest while preheating the oven to 350°F. Reserve the remaining sauce for the sandwich recipe.
- Bake the meatloaf in the oven for an hour. Then let cool in its pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a carving board to slice and serve.
Mama Dogg's Meatloaf Sandwiches
Equipment: Stovetop, skillet, cutting board, serrated bread knife, and chef’s knife.
- 1/2 loaf cold leftover meatloaf
- 8 slices sourdough sandwich bread
- 1/3 cup leftover meatloaf sauce
- 16 slices of processed swiss cheese
- 2 Tb creamy peanut butter
- 4 Tb mayonnaise
- Stir the peanut butter into the container of sauce. Set aside. Prep your other ingredients. Slice the meatloaf into 4, half-inch to inch-thick slices with the bread knife. Unwrap your cheese slices. Spread a layer of mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread.
- Preheat the skillet over medium heat for three minutes. Then add the two of the meatloaf slices. Brown them one and a half minutes on each side before transferring to a cutting board. Repeat with the other two slices.
- Cook the bread two slices at a time by adding into the pan, mayo side down. Top each slice with two slices of cheese and remove it from the pan when the cheese melts down the side of the crust.
- Transfer the meatloaf slices onto four slices of the cheese-bread. Spread a spoonful of sauce over the meat, then top with another slice of cheese-bread.
- Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally using the chef’s knife before serving.