On Earth Day (April 22, for those of you who don’t have your planet-saving plans in order yet), Jared and I will have been married for exactly three years and 10 months. During that time, which accounts for roughly 1,400 dinners, I have made exactly two meatloaves. I suppose that means that around our house, meatloaf is a once-every-two-years event.
The first meatloaf appeared during married year No. 2, somewhat on a whim, when I decided that Jared deserved an old-fashioned “man” meal. I realize that probably sounds incredibly stereotypical; I’m sure there are plenty of men who don’t care for meatloaf and plenty of women who think it’s the cat’s pajama, but around our casa, Jared tends to like meat infinitely more than I do. Being the super easygoing and go-with-the-flow kind of guy that he is, he readily adopted a lot of my eating habits when we were first married, which meant lots more veggies and pastas and lots less meat. So when I say “man” meal, what I really mean is a thanks-for-not-looking-at-me-like-a-space-alien-when-four-dinners-out-of-the-week-contain-no-meat-whatsoever meal. Thankfully, Jared always seems to recognize the lengthy hyphenated modifiers I hide on a plate.
So here we are, just two months away from entering married year No. 4, and I felt another sudden compulsion to doctor up a loaf of meat for the guy that still makes my heart pitter-patter (I know — mushy, mushy love stuff). This time, however, I thought I’d aim for something that I stood a chance of enjoying, too, with the idea that the meal might become more than an every-other-year occurrence. This recipe from Real Simple, with its addition of onion, Parmesan, parsley and bread crumbs, seemed to have enough extra flavor going on to mask the meat-ness of it all. And guess what? It was pretty delicious. Jared loved it, and I liked it, which is about as much as I can ask for in a meatloaf. Moist, flavorful: If you are a meatloaf fan (“I would do anything for love!” Bahaha! No, not Meat Loaf, sillies), this is the stuff for you.
From Real Simple (January 2010)
• 1 ½ pounds ground beef (I just used 1 pound, which worked out fine.)
• 1 large egg
• 1 grated onion (Hooray for the food processor!)
• ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
• ½ cup bread crumbs
• ½ cup grated Parmesan
• ¼ cup tomato paste
• salt and pepper
Combine ground beef, egg, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan and tomato paste in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
On a foil-lined baking sheet, form the mixture into an 8-inch loaf. Bake at 400 degrees until cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes.
I’m actually not sure which Jared enjoyed more: the meatloaf itself the night I made it or the towering meatloaf sandwiches that he carefully constructed on the subsequent afternoons. Sometimes leftovers are better than the real thing.
How do you blend everyone’s food preferences in your house? Do you make a bit of everything? Pull out certain recipes for special occasions? And what’s your take on meatloaf? Do tell!