Ever long for that warm, cozy place of years gone by, where nothing was more complicated than a chipped plate filled with a slab of ground beef and a pile of mashed potatoes?
If you consider ketchup the antichrist, you probably don’t like meatloaf. But if you relish meatloaf's unfussiness and gorgeous smell when the weather turns chilly and you come in from the wind, read on.
Meatloaf, like so many old favorites, is just a few ingredients mixed together and thrown in the oven. Loaf pans, special sauces and expensive cuts of beef are unnecessary. Turn on your oven and turn out a crowd pleaser: a glorious pile of meat and mash.
Form an extra loaf and throw it in the freezer. It just might come in handy one Sunday when you come in from the cold.
- 1 1/2 pound pkg 75 percent lean ground beef (gotta have some fat here so leave lean for a different night.)
- 3 eggs
- 1 C. breadcrumbs
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 C. ketchup
Use spices below as a guide. Rip off fresh herbs from your garden, finely chop and throw in the mix if you have them. And be fearless with measurements. Any amount around a handful is fine. Use what you love. Don’t have fresh? Use dried. Don’t have thyme? Try oregano or basil. Don’t have spices? Don’t use them. You will need salt and pepper at the bare minimum.
- 1 tsp. dried thyme (if you use fresh, double)
- 1 tsp. dried parsley (if you use fresh, double)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
Take off your rings and use your hands to mix all ingredients together in your largest bowl. Form a bread-shaped loaf and set onto an old cookie sheet with an edge. Bake in a 350 degree oven about an hour and 15 minutes. If you like a ketchup crust, spread a layer of ketchup on meatloaf halfway through cooking time.
For the best flavor ever and to ensure meat doesn’t dry out please use a meat thermometer and cook until 160 degrees internally.
Best Mashed Potatoes
The secret to amazing mashed potatoes is HOT MILK!
Cover peeled, golden potatoes in cold water and boil until fork tender. You can throw a few cloves of unpeeled garlic in the water, too. You can squeeze out the paste into your potatoes after they cook.
Place potatoes into mixing bowl and microwave a coffee cup full of milk. Pour hot milk into potatoes while you whip them with hand or machine mixer into creamy heaven. Salt to taste.
Hit your mountain of mash with a slice of butter and watch it melt and drizzle down the pile. Nuzzle in a slab of your meatloaf.
Serve with a pile of peas and a tall glass of milk.
Just like being back home again!