Thursday, October 6, 2011

Meat Loaf

OK, so I admit that this is an after-thought as far as recipies go. It's been a hectic week of school projects, clinicals at a local nursing home (more on that later) and eagerly anticipating the selection list for Hubs's promotion.... And that means we've had a lot of left-overs and down-home, tried-and-true, you-probably-already-have-your-own-family-recipe foods this week. Regardless, I think meatloaf's pretty good, and it's certainly one of my favorite comfort foods, so I'll share my version of a favorite country meal, as handed down from my grandmother and probably her grandmother! But...I don't have pictures, because this week's cooking was completed on autopilot, without much measuring!

In a mixing bowl, combine:
1 lb ground beef (I used extra lean)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
1 cup (approximately) plain dried breadcrumbs
1 raw egg
2 cloves freshly chopped garlic
1 cup (approximate) ketchup
salt and pepper to taste

Using your bare hands, mix the ingredients and mold into a loaf shape. Place in a loaf pan or glass baking dish. Use a knife to sear the loaf down the middle length-wise and then width-wise to form 8 pieces. Drizzle more ketchup on top. Bake at 350 for an hour, drain grease from bottom of pan, complete the slices for each piece, and serve piping hot.

I serve my meatloaf with green beans (I boil one can of whole green beans with some chopped raw onion and chopped raw bacon for additional flavor) and mashed potatoes. I normally put the beans on the stove on medium-low when the meat is about half-way done.

For my mashed potatoes, I cut new (baby) potatoes into fourths (or sixths, depending on how big the baby potato started out) and cover with water, then boil in salted water until fork-tender. Then I drain the potatoes and place them in the mixer on slow speed (skin still on) for a few minutes. While the mixer is doing its thing, I'll add a couple cloves fresh chopped garlic, parmesan cheese, and half-and-half (or buttermilk, or plain skim milk...whatever I have) to get the mashers good and smooth. Then salt and pepper to taste...

Voila! Comfort food in a flash! Left overs are wonderful!

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