Not Your Mama's Meatloaf

I have to admit it, I tortured my mom every time she made meatloaf. I'd sit at the table for hours refusing to eat it. Hers was topped with ketchup, had pieces of onion in it, and seemed like a waste of meat that could have been delicious hamburgers. My husband, however, raves about his mothers meatloaf and is a true meat and potatoes kind of guy. One night I was playing around with some random ingredients and *poof* this recipe was born. It is one that I go back to again and again.

Sausage Potato Meatloaf "Brownies"

1 lb bulk sausage meat (I strongly recommend McKenzie brand if you can find it)
1/2 onion
8-10 small/mini potatoes or 3 large (I used some small local ones I had cellared from our CSA this summer)
1/2 cup oatmeal
8 oz frozen green beans
1 egg
2 tsp salt (split)
2 tsp pepper (split)
2 TBS butter
1/4 cup milk or cream (also a great way to use up buttermilk in the fridge)

Put your potatoes in a pot on the stove to boil. Preheat oven to 375. I use a food processor for most of the prep but everything can be grated & mixed the old fashioned way if you need to. Grate the 1/2 onion into the food processor. Switch to the chopping blade. Add the oatmeal and pulse until the oatmeal is powdery. Add the green beans and process until they are finely chopped. Put sausage into food processor and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Add egg, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and mix for one minute longer.

Dump the contents of the food processor onto a tinfoil lined cookie sheet that has been lightly spritzed with cooking spray.

Using a rubber spatula, spread the sausage mixture so that it covers the entire cookie sheet. 

Wash the food processor parts well and reassemble. By this point the potatoes should be done cooking. I rinse them with cool water and peel the skin off of them at this time when using the small farm fresh ones. Once peeled, put the potatoes in the food processor along with butter, milk or cream, and the other 1 tsp of salt & pepper. Mix until thick and smooth. 

Place large dollops of the mashed potatoes on top of the sausage on the cookie sheet and gently spread to cover the meat. You want a thin layer of potatoes on top but if you move them around too vigorously they mix in with the meat. (Did I mention that I also disliked Shepard's Pie as a child? The only part I ate was the potato off the top!) You can speed up the preparation of this dish by using leftover mashed potatoes, instant potatoes (not a real food in my opinion), or extra baked potatoes from another nights dinner. 

Set the cookie sheet in your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy! 

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