I've been on a comfort food kick for a while now, trying to remember all those foods that have made me feel better over the years. One of the recipes that Mom and Nancy's Mom have handed down is meat loaf. I've tweaked it over the years by adding a few spices and using multiple types of meat. Here it is:
1 lb ground beef, preferably 85% beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground veal (if available; use another 1/2 lb pork if not)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste (for me it's 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper)
1. There's no fine art here. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients with your fingers. It's the only way. Get in there and mush it up.
2. Do not use a loaf or bread pan. Form the loaf by hand on either a high sided baking sheet or a ceramic or glass cooking container.
3. Spread a thin strip of barbecue sauce down the center of the loaf. Bake at 350F for 1 1/4 hour.
4. Serve with real mashed potatoes (not boxed) and home made gravy (see below).
32 ounces beef stock
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1. Make a roulx with the butter and flour cooking on a medium low heat for 5 minutes or until the butter smells nutty.
2. Add the beef stock stirring rapidly to blend the stock smoothly into the roulx. Bring to a low boil. Add the thyme.
3. Cook approximately 10 minutes to concentrate the gravy. Salt and pepper.