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Cajun Meatloaf

2-whole bay leaves
1-tsp salt
1-tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2-tsp white pepper
1/2-tsp ground cumin
1/2-tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2-tsp dried basil
1-tsp onion powder
1-tsp dry mustard
1/4-tsp allspice
1/2-tsp fresh black pepper

2-tbsp butter or margarine
3/4-cup onions, finely chopped
1/2-cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2-cup celery, finely chopped
1/4-cup green onions, finely chopped
2-tsp minced garlic
1-tbsp Tabasco sauce
1-tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2-tsp liquid smoke
1/2-cup evaporated milk
1/2-cup salsa
2-lbs ground beef
1/3-lb fresh andouille sausage (optional)
1-cup fine breadcrumbs

Combine the first 11 ingredients in a bowl and set aside
Melt the butter in a 1-quart fry pan over medium heat
Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, Tabasco, Worcestershire, liquid smoke and seasoning mix
Sauté until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes
Stir occasionally and scrape the bottom well
Stir in milk and catsup
Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
Remove bay leaves
Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl
Add the eggs, the cooled mixture, and the breadcrumbs
Mix by hand until thoroughly combined
Put meat mixture into a 5x9" loaf pan
Bake uncovered in a 350* oven for 25 minutes
Drain off any extra fat at this time
Raise the temperature to 400* and continue cooking until done, about 35 minutes longer
Remove from pan and let sit 5 minutes on wire rack so it will slice easier

Variation: Remove the meat from one Andouille sausage link and mix into ground beef
Remember: You can make sausage by getting ground pork from your butcher and make sausage patties.