Ask Victor what his favorite meal is, and he will invariably say “meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas.”   Not even Italian meatloaf.  Just plain ol’ basic meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas.  And basic is the key.  Nothing fancy.  No exotic herbs and spices.  Just meatloaf.  That’s not to say that an exotic meatloaf would go unappreciated.  We’ve made them and they’ve gone over quite well.

But basic works.

There’s no real recipe or set amount of anything.

  • ground beef
  • chopped onion
  • garlic powder
  • bread crumbs
  • catsup
  • mustard
  • an egg or two
  • worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

Form into a loaf and bake.

It really is the most basic a meatloaf can be.

I’ve probably told this story a bazillion times, but the “Bayshore Diner Blue Plate Special” plates came from the Westin San Francisco Airport.  They were a going away gift when I transferred to Indianapolis to open that hotel.  The Bayshore Diner was the main hotel restaurant set up as a ’50s Diner with jukeboxes, hostess in poodle skirts and roller skates.  Typical over-the-top hotel stuff.  (That restaurant is long gone and a stylish bistro is currently the main hotel restaurant.)

As we were developing the menu, meatloaf was an automatic.  Problem was, our extremely talented German Executive Chef couldn’t make a basic American meatloaf to save his soul.  They kept coming out looking like perfect pâtés, terrines, or forcemeats.  Definitely not what one would expect paired with mashed potatoes and peas.  It took a while but we finally brought him around.  And in the meantime, we had some great meals!

But back to tonight’s dinner…

It’s great that we both like basic meatloaf and it’s equally great that we both like lumpy unpeeled mashed potatoes.  No muss, no fuss, and all the good potato-peel nutrition balances the butter and fat in the gravy!  Well…  in my mind, it does.  Have I ever mentioned that I am not a dietitian?!?

At least we don’t have a clean-your-plate rule.

We need to save room for dessert.