Meatloaf. That about says it all.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but there are some foods that I make and on the first time, I nail it, and then there are other foods that I have made over and over with many different recipes and ideas, but still am not happy with. Since we re-became flexitarians a few years ago, I have been in the purgatory of meatloaf (and shepherd’s pie and pork chops, but that’s another story).
Today, I have found the promised land of meatloaf. At least in my opinion. It’s moist, tender, and flavorful, with bits of veggies and herbs throughout. It doesn’t even need a gravy or catsup! Oh, how I look forward to pulling this one out on chilly, low-energy nights. ‘Cause that’s what’s so great about meatloaf anyhow (besides the fact that it looks ridiculous): it’s easy (and it’s relatively cheap). And then, once it’s in the oven and you are patting yourself on the back, whip up some easy sides. As you can see here, tonight we went with sliced tomatoes and basmati rice. A green salad would be fine. Mashed or baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. Roast squash. Corn. Peas. Glazed carrots. You name it. Think simple and easy or you’re going to defeat the purpose of this truly American log.
MEATLOAF FOR FOUR-PLUS PEOPLE
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a skillet, heat a couple tablespoons olive oil and then saute 1/2 diced (or minced) onion and 1 diced (or minced) stalk celery. When they begin to brown, remove from heat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine 3/4 pound ground beef (not too lean), 3/4 pound ground pork, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup (preferably whole) milk, generous 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and black pepper to taste. Add in 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (the dry kind is good).
- Plop mixture down onto the pan in a loaf-like formation, then form with your hands to make prettier, if meatloaf can ever be pretty. Poor meatloaf.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 160-170F.