I have a long personal history with meatloaf. (Or “meatload,” as my fingers always seem to want to type. Same thing, basically.) When I was a kid, my mom’s meatloaf served as a catch-all cloaking device for whatever bits and scraps remained in the refrigerator or pantry at the end of a given week (month? year?). It’s understandable when you realize that she was a single mom trying to make the best of a narrow budget, but as a child, I had no appreciation for this aspect of meatloaf-making. I just remember watching with mounting distaste as carrots, spinach, rhubarb–was that oatmeal?–disappeared into the mixing bowl, and wondering why a raw egg needed to be part of this process. Just observing the assembly of meatloaf had me convinced before my first bite that this was quite likely the most disgusting food ever invented. And then it came out of the oven–a craggy, rectangular meteorite from the part of space where they stare you down with unflinching meat-and-spinach eyes. I may have only been five years old, but I knew I was
NOT. GOING. TO. EAT. THAT.
(Adapted from The Cleaner Plate Club)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. mixed fresh herbs–mostly basil, with rosemary and/or thyme
1/4 c. roasted tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, bison, or a mix
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until soft and light golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, add all remaining ingredients, and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Spread meat mixture evenly in the pan. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes.