- Serves: 5 – 6
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- Total Cooking time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Sometimes the most memorable meals are the ones that are the most basic and simple. The hearty stick-to-your-ribs meals that your mother used to make on a quiet Sunday evening, of all these recipes and meals no other recipe has had such a mixed and too often reviled reputation than meatloaf. In my opinion, the thing that ruins most meatloaf recipes more than anything else is that they try to make the recipe more complex than it really has to be, adding any number of herbs and spices and fillers to change the texture and flavor of what should be a very basic homespun dish. The recipe below keeps the ingredients very simple but complimentary. The classic side dish for meatloaf is mashed potatoes that you smother in delicious brown gravy made from the pan juices left over from cooking the meatloaf and perhaps some sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter and thrown into the gravy at the last moment. Try this recipe at home with your loved ones on one of these lovely chill nights that announce the coming winter.
|3||lbs||lean (15% fat maximum) ground beef|
|3/4||lbs||ground pork (optional)|
|1/2||cup||yellow onion minced fine|
|2||cups||saltine crackers crushed into fine crumbs|
In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef and ground pork mixing well. Make a well or depression in the center of the mixture and add the remaining ingredients. Combine and mix together thoroughly. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator 15 minutes to rest. Press mixture into a large loaf pan or deep casserole and place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meatloaf pulls away from sides of a pan and juices run clear. Remove from pan and reserve the drippings from the pan for gravy. Let sit at least five minutes before cutting.
To prepare Gravy:
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, when butter is melted and hot, add the mushrooms and sauté until just tender. Pour in the pan juices from the meatloaf and bring to a simmer. Mix the cold water, flour and cornstarch together with a wire whisk until smooth with no lumps. Blend into the mushrooms and pan juices and bring to a boil until thickened, season with salt and pepper and serve over mashed potatoes.
- Garlic Parmesan Mashed potatoes
- 12 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1-cup milk or chicken broth
- 3 large cloves garlic peeled and crushed (optionally, roast the cloves in a garlic roaster)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook 20 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain off water and mash with a potato masher or in a kitchen aid or food mixer. Add butter, milk, crushed garlic and Parmesan cheese and mash together until potatoes are smooth. Serve with mushroom gravy and seasonal vegetables such as broccoli.