What I love about being a blogger is being reminded of memories through other blogger’s works. Whether it’s a memory of a family event, a simple craft that reminds you of your childhood, or a recipe that brings back a memory of a great time with those you love. That’s the reason behind this recipe for me. My husband and I used to go camping often when we were younger before we had the girls and even when they were young. We even went camping on our honeymoon! Making Foil-Packet meals were the best cooked meals over the open fire but they did take a backseat to making S’Mores. The packets contain meatloaf and vegetables wrapped up in aluminum foil and grilled over the fire. Hobo-Dinner was one of the Foil-Packet meals we both loved and learned how to make when we were in Scouts growing up. It’s a simple meal but the flavors of all of the ingredients blend together into a delicious meal. Of course you had to watch them carefully or you would end up with a burnt mess. Experience with that had us making one extra packet!
Over the years, the camping has ceased but I still make Hobo-Dinner on the grill and have done so in the crockpot and oven. It’s easy to put together and if you have one person that detests carrots, you can omit those from their packets while adding extra onions for the person that loves them. Sarah, from The Magical Slow Cooker with her version, reminded me I hadn’t made mine in awhile and it was time. We’re still having bouts of summer weather so this was perfect and fit our schedules on this day.
When making Slow Cooker Hobo-Dinner, you can omit the foil with the potatoes, carrots, and onions, I like to use it for two reasons: easy clean-up and it adds a bit of crispness to the vegetables that you would get over a fire or on the grill. I spray the crockpot with non-stick spray for extra easy clean-up on the meatloaf side. This recipe makes enough for 3-4 people.
Slow Cooker Hobo-Dinner is an easy solution to getting a entire meal on the table with minimal prep. The vegetables turn out tender-crisp and the meatloaf is moist and flavorful from the garlic and seasonings along with the tangy-sweet sauce on top.
- 1 lb Laura's Lean Ground Beef (of course you can use a combination of beef and sausage or even ground turkey)
- ½ small onion, diced very finely
- 2 tbsp bell pepper, diced very finely
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- ⅓ cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1½ cups cut red potatoes (1 inch cubes)
- 1½ cups baby carrots
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Spray the inside of crockpot with non-stick spray.
- Make a "foil bowl" from a piece of aluminum foil, about a 12 inch piece. Set on one side in the crockpot.
- In a large bowl, mix together the first 9 ingredients. Shape meat mixture into a loaf and place in crockpot.
- No additional liquid is required.
- After you have prepared your vegetables, combine them in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and the minced garlic. Drizzle the melted butter over and toss to lightly coat.
- Pour your vegetables into your "foil bowl" and fold up the sides, if necessary so the vegetables will stay in the foil. Not necessary to seal the foil.
- Cover and cook on low for 5½ hours. After that time is up, prepare the topping. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and nutmeg. Spoon over the meatloaf and cover again. Turn off heat to the crockpot and let cook for 15 more minutes.
- Remove meatloaf to platter and serve with the vegetables.