Monday, September 6, 2010

Meatloaf and Roasted Potatoes

 Thursday September 2, 2010

Mmmm....comfort food.  

Meatloaf is a versatile recipe that can easily go from traditional to Italian with just a few different ingredients swaps.  I've even stuffed meatloaf with pesto and fresh Mozzarella then topped it with a fresh tomato sauce.  Another swap out can be to change the seasonings to include Garam Masala or Middle Eastern Baharat in place of the traditional Worcestershire sauce.    Meatloaf leftovers are most amazing when made into a sandwiches or even a pressed paninis.  

Everyone should know how to make a basic meatloaf. It's one of the great go to recipes for weeknight dinners or special occasions.  I make my meatloaf using the basic kitchen staples.  Also, sauteing veggies for meatloaf helps keeps in the moisture.  Here is my recipe:

Traditional Meatloaf

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs ( feel free to use seasoned or unseasoned breadcrumbs)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add the onions, bell pepper, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Turn off heat and remove from heat.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and chicken stock. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix (I like to use my hands to mix).  Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on a cookie sheet. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 hour. 

(Cooks Tips :  I learned this originally from Martha Stewart, but was reminded of it on Food Network recently - A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meatloaf  will keep the top from cracking)

I served the meatloaf with roasted potatoes.  I count two small red potatoes per person - 4 per person for T.  I quarter them and then toss them with one tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tsp of thyme, 1 tsp of rosemary, 1 tsp dried parsley, and salt and pepper.  Toss to coat then roast at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

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