When I was young, when winter weather arrived in North Carolina it meant hog killing time.
Daddy raised a couple for our family each year. Usually on Thanksgiving Day, instead of sitting down for a big dinner, we got up early and ended the day late, preparing pork for the winter ahead. Well, I didn’t really do much, as I was a bit young and pretty much a city slicker. But I do have some fond memories of those days.
Daddy made his own sausage and I got a kick out of helping turn the handle on the sausage grinder clamped down on the kitchen table. He went heavy on the sage, but it was still good with one of Mama’s buttermilk biscuits on a cold morning.
Other than homemade sausage, we grew up eating Neese’s Country Sausage around our house. Neese’s is an old North Carolina Company dating back to around 1917. I love their liver pudding products, and my brother is fond of their souse meat. You can read more about this great company in the link above.
I spotted a small Neese’s Cookbook at a local auction a couple of weeks ago. I broke bad and spent a whole dollar bill for it – I’m a big spender like that. While thumbing through the recipes, I saw this one particular recipe for Neese’s Sausage-Beef Meat Loaf and decided I had to give it a try.
I used the Mild Country Sausage from Neese’s, but you could punch it up by using their hot brand. Either way, it’s a great variation on an old Southern favorite that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. I also liked that it uses crumbled up cornbread instead of white bread, breadcrumbs, or crackers. That was different, and I liked being able to use some of the last batch I made in my cast iron skillet.
First, let me tell you a bit more about the cookbook. Then I’ll show you how to make this delicious recipe!
Interestingly enough, the book is marked on the back as costing $1.00 originally. Seems they hold there value pretty well. I leaned it up against an old wooden Neese’s Country Sausage crate that was given to me by a friend a couple of years back.
The book contains 34 pages of recipes, all printed on thick brown colored paper. Here’s a scan of the Sausage-Beef Meat Loaf recipe as seen on page 19 of the recipe book. It didn’t have an exact date, but I think it was printed in 1976.
What you’ll need
- 1 ½ lbs ground Beef
- ½ lb Neese’s Country Sausage
- 1 ½ cups crumbled cornbread
- 1 (10 ½ ounce) can onion soup
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup green pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
When it’s done, remove it from the oven and just set it aside on a trivet to cool a little. You might see some liquid around the inside edges of the pan when you remove the loaf pan from the oven. Be careful not to spill that and just let it absorb back into the meat as it cools down.