I think one of the most comforting meals on a cold winter's night is meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and gravy. It's one of my all time favorite meals. And it's one of my sweetie's favorite meals also so we both get pretty excited when I make it!
And I must say, I make a pretty darned good meatloaf.
Not to toot my own horn or anything.
Ok, maybe just a little.
But look - see? Isn't your mouth watering just looking at this?
It wasn't always like that. I remember when I first moved out on my own many, many years ago I missed my mom's meatloaf something terrible. I thought, ok, how hard can it be? Get some chopped meat, add a bunch of stuff into it, and it's meatloaf.
So, I bought some chopped meat, added all sorts of spices and herbs and steak sauce and who knows what else and popped it in the oven.
And it was AWFUL!! Barely edible! I called my mom and she told me to keep it simple - meatloaf should be simple. And she was right.
I made it Mom's way for a long time and then started playing with it just a little as I got more into recipes and cooking and became a full fledged foodie freak.
Well, I'm going to share my recipe with you.
It's not hard, and this recipe makes enough for more than one meatloaf, so you have some for the freezer.
Ok, here we go.
I started with 3 lbs of ground beef and 3 lbs of ground pork.
I would buy the ground meatloaf mix at the market if they had it, but since they didn't I went this route. If they have the meatloaf mix, feel free to go ahead with that. You'll need 6 lbs total for this recipe.
Mince one head of garlic and saute it in a little butter, just until golden.
For onions, I used the onions I had saved from my onion-butter tomato sauce.
Remember that recipe? For the simplest, most amazing tomato sauce?
Well, if you make the sauce first, you can save the onions to use in your meatloaf, like I did! I had onions from 3 batches of sauce in the freezer which I thawed and then chopped fine and threw into the meatloaf.
If you didn't make the sauce - first of all, why not? Second of all, you will need to chop two large or three medium onions fine and saute them until translucent.
After the onions and garlic have cooled a bit, throw them in with the chopped meat.
Whip up 2 extra large or jumbo eggs with 1/3 cup tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. I go light on the salt and heavy on the pepper for health reasons.
Note: since I used the onions from the tomato sauce, I only used one egg and no tomato paste.
Add 2 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs to the mixture. I added them dry because of all the moisture in the tomato sauce onions but if you are not using those tomato sauce onions you will want to soak the breadcrumbs in a cup of milk before adding to the mixture.
Give it a good mix with your spoon and then you have no choice but to dig in with your hands.
I don't like that part. But it's necessary, to feel the texture. The mixture should be moist but yet stay together. If it's not moist enough, add a little more milk. If it's too moist, add a little more of the breadcrumbs.
I added a half cup of finely chopped parsley into the mix next and a little more salt and pepper.
Another good mix with the hands and we're ready to form loaves.
Look at all that goodness in there!
I make my loaves large enough to feed 4 and a bit.
The bit either ends up as second helpings or lunches.
This meatloaf fed 2 of us at dinner plus 4 packed lunches.
Plus a little for the furballs. They're good girls.
I also got 3 more for the freezer out of this batch, same size loaves.
How awesome is it to have a ready to go meatloaf in the freezer for a busy day!
Right before I bake it I brush a little BBQ sauce over it.
Bake at 375 for about an hour (for this size loaf) and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. I usually finish making the gravy while the meatloaf is resting, using the pan juices and the water from the potatoes as my base. You can find the basics of making gravy from pan drippings here.
I serve my meatloaf with gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas.
Because my sweetie likes to mush the peas into his mashed potatoes.
He's weird like that.
Add a glass of good Cabernet Sauvignon and I'm in heaven.
All for less than $2.00 per serving, which includes the gravy, potatoes and the peas.
Not too shabby!
|Simple Saturdays Blog Hop|
|Best of the Weekend|