Like meatloaf. Meatloaf dates back to Roman times, and pretty much every generation has found a way to combine ground or minced meat with savory items. It really took off in the Depression, where homemakers got creative stretching those small precious portions of meat during hard times and war time.
Being a little kid in the 60's I remember meatloaf was on about everyone's menu each week, I still grin when I look at some of the elaborate meals featured in magazines and cookbooks from that decade. Sure - after putting in a 12 hour day and commuting in traffic, I have the inclination to make a meatloaf igloo to go with my jello salad iceberg.
You can make it simple or complicated. My brother's method was to simply throw a package of instant single serving maple oatmeal in with a pound of hamburger ,add a splash of milk and an egg, wrap it in bacon, sprinkle some Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt on top and bake. He's put a piece of stale bread or two under it to soak up the grease and then discard. Bachelor cooking at it's finest.
Mom's Best Meatloaf (Serves two with leftovers for a sandwich)
2 teaspoons bacon fat
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 heaping teaspoon minced jarred garlic (or one clove roasted if you're adventuresome)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
a pinch of crushed red pepper
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 pound ground beef (don't get the cheap burger for this, you'll lose a lot of it to fat)
1 and 1/2 large slices of bread toasted and crumbled (or about 1/3 cup crumbs)
5 buttery crackers (like Ritz or Waverly Wafers) crushed
1 small egg
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon mayonnaise or sour cream
Saute onion and garlic in bacon fat (or butter) until lightly golden. Mix everything together, just until mixed, do not overwork. Top with about 1/3 cup barbecue sauce. Put into bread pan (it should be sized so that there is an inch or two at each end of the pan open, otherwise it will be too thin).
Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes. (meat thermometer at 160 F.)