Meat and Three

Meat and Three

My high school sweetheart took me on a our first date to Dotson’s in Franklin, Tennessee. He must have figured out this was a good way to win me over because it has always been one of  my favorite places to eat. When it came time to break-up, I couldn’t think of a better spot than right back where we had started, Dotson’s.

There’s something about that looming list of fresh vegetables and meats that serves up comfort. A big plate of biscuits and cornbread, vegetables served in small bowls and big glass of iced tea to sip on while you gaze around at the hundreds of country music stars autographed glossies that hang on the wall are what make this place an institution when comes to meat and threes.

First up on my tribute to meat and threes this week is meatloaf. It’s the cornerstone of any meat choices keeping up this southern tradition. Stick with me this week and by the end you’ll have the recipes to build a perfect meat and three to enjoy right at home!


1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef, 95/5 or 93/7 percent fat

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup oatmeal, quick cook

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 egg

1/4 cup tomato sauce, no salt added (buy an 8 oz can)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. Saute onions and bell peppers for 5 minutes or until tender.

Place ground meat in a large mixing bowl, season well with salt and pepper, add oatmeal, Worcestershire sauce, egg and tomato sauce and cooked onions and peppers. Combine well – using your hands works best!

Place meat mixture in a medium loaf pan and gently form a loaf. Do not mash down meat. Make a shallow well down the center of the loaf.

Tomato Topping:

3/4 cup tomato sauce ( rest of the 8 oz. can)

2 tbsp ketchup, I use Heinz Simply Ketchup

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

Mix all ingredients well and set aside.

Place meatloaf in the center of the oven. After the first 15 minutes of baking pour the tomato mixture over the top of the meatloaf and continue cooking for 30-35 minutes. Bake time will be a total of 45-50 minutes. You can always check the temperature to make sure it is cooked through. The temperature should register 160 degrees.

Before serving let meatloaf rest for about 5 minutes.


I like to use no salt added or reduced sodium products whenever possible. By adding your own salt when cooking you can control the amounts.

I don’t like high fructose corn syrup. You’d be amazed how many products contain it; breads, spaghetti sauces, salad dressing and ketchup are just a few. Look for products without it such as Heinz Simply Ketchup. The simpler the ingredients the better for you.

I really like beef. Its easy to cut down on fat with ground beef if you buy leaner cuts. I like ground sirloin with a 95/5 or a 93/7 content.

6 thoughts on “Meat and Three

  1. Poppa

    The finished product shown above looks like the meatloaf served at Sullivan’s in Knoxville, which is terrific. I am tempted to jump in my truck and head that way.


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