While my heart wants to go with Chuck, my gut tells me we're in for more winter ... and indeed more meatloaf. I could live without additional snow and ice, but if the chilly temps indicate more comfort food - I'm all over it. Is there anything more comforting, more nostalgic, than a delicious and savory meatloaf? I think not.
In honor of our annual winter rodent fest (or folly depending on your perspective), I'd like to offer my favorite meatloaf recipe. Its as basic and satisfying as can be; perfect for a winter evening ... and outstanding when made into a sandwich for lunch the next day.
- 1 lb. ground turkey breast
- 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (sirloin)
- 1 cup of minced onion
- 1/4 cup tomato paste (I like Luigi Vitelli brand.)
- 1/4 cup ketchup*
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed between the palms of your hands
- 2 tsp. dried basil, crushed between the palms of your hands
- 1 tsp. dried granulated garlic, or garlic powder
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of seasoned dried breadcrumbs
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands - or, if your squeamish like me, a large wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch oven-safe glass baking dish and shape into a loaf, packing the meat together to attain the proper shape. (Alternately, you can bake the loaf in the traditional 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, but I like the fat to drain away from the meat, hence the larger pan. Do as you see fit.) Cover the top of the loaf with a thin layer of ketchup a/o tomato paste and sprinkle with some dried basil or parsley for decoration.
Bake in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree oven until well-browned and firm to the touch - approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or so. Serve and enjoy!
As written, this recipe will serve 6 to 8, depending on portion size. I know the ketchup isn't exactly Beach-y as it does contain sugar ... but its practically un-American to make meatloaf without some ketchup. I've halved the amount of ketchup in my standard recipe and included the quarter cup of tomato paste to make up for it. I think its a good compromise, but if you're a traditionalist, feel free to use just the ketchup and in that case make it a 1/2 cup. You can't go wrong either way - though, frankly, I think the tomato paste brings a welcome zest to the mix.
I like to round out the meal with a succulent baked sweet potato and whatever green veg is hanging around my fridge. This meatloaf is divine when served hot from the oven and positively sublime when served cold as the filling for a sandwich. It doesn't last long in our house and I assure you it won't in yours. I hope you'll try it.
So, with six more weeks of winter on the way, what will you be baking up to stave off the cold? Curious Diva wants to know.