* Full disclosure: I am not from the Midwest. My mother was raised in OH, but even she doesn’t eat the typical “Midwest diet” of meat and potatoes. This is simply my interpretation of a meat and potatoes meal. Also, I never ever order meatloaf when dining out because nothing compares to this moist flavorful meatloaf!
HOMESTYLE MEATLOAF Serves 8
3 lbs of meat loaf blend (equal parts ground chuck, ground pork, and ground veal) OR 2 lbs ground chuck and 1 lb ground pork OR 3 lbs ground turkey (not turkey breast alone, make sure ground turkey is mixed with dark meat for better color and flavor)
2 yellow onions pureed using food processor
2 bell peppers (preferably red), diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon beef seasoning OR salt
2 large eggs, whisked
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cups favorite bbq sauce or light brown sugar, extra sauce or sugar to top before cooking
Optional- 1/2 cup 1% milk or 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In large bowl place ground meat of your choice. Create a well in the center of meat.
Fill well with onions, peppers, and garlic.
Liberally season meat with dry mustard, cinnamon, ground black pepper, and beef seasoning or salt.
Mix meatloaf mixture with clean hands until seasoning is well incorporated.
Add eggs, bread crumbs, milk or tomato sauce, and bbq sauce or brown sugar.
Mix meatloaf mixture for another 3 minutes or until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Line a large glass dish (do not use a shallow dish) with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
Place meatloaf into pan and shape into a loaf using hands.
Top loaf with 2-3 tablespoons of bbq sauce, brown sugar or 3-4 strips of bacon.
Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes – 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Please note that while cooking the meatloaf will generate liquid. Drain this from pan. You can save this liquid to make a quick gravy.
(CHEESY) GARLIC MASHED POTATOES
2.5 lbs butter potatoes (all purpose potatoes, not white potatoes), peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups half and half
1 stick salted butter
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 tablespoon salt
Optional: 1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese AND 1 cup shredded Muenster cheese
Directions Serves 8
In large stock pot bring potatoes to boil in (salted) water. Once potatoes are tender (fall apart when fork is inserted) drained potatoes, but return them to same warm pot and return pot to the stove. Turn of the heat/eye.
Immediately, add stick of butter, and half and half. Begin to mash in pot using a masher. FYI NEVER put potatoes in the blender. the starch becomes glutenous.
Once potatoes are smooth add sour cream, white pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir until smooth and seasoning well incorporated. If too thick add more half and half (or another milk) by the tablespoon full. Top with parsley flakes and serve.
If making “Cheesy” add shredded pecorino romano and Muenster cheeses when adding seasonings. Then top with parsley flakes.
GLAZED CARROTS Makes 8 cups
12 large carrots peeled
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Julienne carrots (find instructions here, you may also slice them on a mandolin)
In a large sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar. Add carrots to pan and coat with butter-sugar mixture. Liberally season carrots with ground ginger, nutmeg, salt, and if using, cayenne pepper. Stir carrots until well coated.
Turn heat down to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until carrots are tender, but not mushy. Serve.
FRESH STEAMED PEAS
4 cups fresh snapped peas
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable base OR 1/2 tablespoon salt AND 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted/salted butter
In 4 quart pot, melt butter over medium heat.
Add rinsed peas, seasoning, and water. Bring pot to boil for 3 minutes. Reduce temperature to low. Simmer on low for additional 3 minutes. Serve.