I’m so sorry for my absence last week! Life, as it often does, got in the way of actually doing what I needed to. There was much take out pizza and pho at our house with the various and sundry school and band activities, the washer went out which meant multiple trips to the in-laws to do laundry (thanks Ps!), and the Thanksgiving breakdown (with cloth napkins and no laundry, mind you), Hannukah set up, and Christmas decorating in our multi-cultural household have pretty much hobbled me in the kitchen recently. But I’m back! They say you are what you eat, and I don’t want to be pizza (although pho is pretty exotic so I don’t know that I’d mind that). So it’s time to get back in the kitchen and start eating REAL food again!
So on the last night of Hannukah, I made what is quite possibly the least traditional Hannukah food ever. I made a fabulous meatloaf. I just really really wanted to get back into comfortable home cooking with my father-in-law’s meatloaf.
Chef J comes by his cooking chops very naturally. Both of his parents (the Ps) are amazing cooks. There are many dishes that they are known for. But my father-in-law’s meatloaf is a thing of legend. We’ve all attempted our own versions when we lose the recipe and try to do it from memory. But when we get too far off course, we ask for the recipe again and go back to the original plan. Father truly knows best.
We don’t do this nearly often enough, but when we do, we ALWAYS serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans. I like to mix a little sour cream in with the mashed potatoes. Yummy! And you’ll aleady have it on hand since you are using it in the meatloaf.
The one thing that I do a little differently than Bill is saute the veggies a bit as I don’t like a lot of crunch in my meatloaf. Also, he uses a can of tomato sauce to top his. Our family prefers ketchup but you could go either way. Otherwise, this is pretty true to his recipe.
I do find that cooking a meatloaf on a baking sheet or in a large baking dish rather than a loaf pan to be the best method. You end up with lots more of that yummy crusty stuff on the outside and we all know that’s the best part.
Bill’s Killer Meatloaf
- 2 lb ground beef (or a combination of beef and pork)
- 1 T vegetable oil or bacon fat
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced small (about 3/4 C)
- 1 small onion, diced small (about 3/4 C)
- 4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
- 1/2 C milk
- 1/2 C sour cream (must NOT be low fat)
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 t salt
- 1 t pepper
- 1/2 – 1 C Ketchup or tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 375F.
Soak bread in milk until nice and soggy.
Saute bell pepper and onion in 1 T fat until softened and starting to brown slightly,about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
Combine all ingredients except ketchup in large bowl and mix with hands (you need to wash your hands REALLY well when you are done!) until pretty uniform. Form into loaf shape in a large baking dish (until you get the hang of it, you can press it into a loaf pan and then invert it into your baking dish).
Place meatloaf in oven and reduce heat to 350F. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until thermometer inserted into center reads about 140F. Remove from oven and CAREFULLY pour off any excess drippings. Increase temperature to 375F again. Cover top of loaf with ketchup (I brush it over the top and down the sides) and return to oven for 20-30 minutes or until thermometer reads just under 160F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
At our house, it would be considered sacrilege to serve this with anything other than mashed potatoes and green beans.
You will have enough for a meatloaf sandwich tomorrow. Maybe.
And a note to my Jew-y friends out there, I’m sorry. There’s no way of making this kosher. I can’t think of a thing to do about the sour cream and milky bread. The sour cream absolutely makes this dish. I’ll get you another time!