Meatloaf. Is there anything more classically American? When I moved to San Francisco, my first job was as a server at The Daily Grill in Union Square. If you aren’t familiar with The Daily Grill, meatloaf is one of their most popular menu items. I had an Australian coworker there who, no matter how hard she tried, just couldn’t get behind the idea of meatloaf. She thought it was one of the strangest American dishes she’d ever encountered. And this girl was from Australia- the land of Vegemite! I’ll admit that the concept may seem a bit strange to those unfamiliar with the dish, but to me, there’s just something so wonderfully homey and wonderful about a truly good meatloaf. Not to mention cold leftover meatloaf sandwiches the next day! Yum!
The Daily Grill serves their meatloaf the same way I do- thick slices atop a big buttery heap of mashed potatoes. If I’m being entirely honest, though, I never much cared for their version. It lacked any real interest to me, and didn’t have that oh-so-essential Heinz Ketchup kick to the sauce. A must in my book. While my sauce recipe does stray a bit from the version with which I was raised (straight ketchup from the bottle poured all over my plate), it is still very simple, very classic, and very delicious!
*The below recipe is for meatloaf only, but if you’d like my recipe for mashed potatoes, it can be found within my Pot Roast recipe post here.
1 lb. ground beef
4 T. bacon fat (or butter)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 c. milk
1 c. panko bread crumbs
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 c. ketchup
3/4 c. spicy brown mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Grease bottom of a baking dish with butter or cooking spray, set aside
In a medium sized skillet, saute onion and bell pepper in bacon fat over medium/high heat
While vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce by combining all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, set aside
When vegetables are caramelized, remove them from heat and set aside to cool. When cooled enough that you can touch them with bare hands, combine all of the meatloaf ingredients together in a large bowl
Using clean hands (because no tool works as well as your hands for this), squish all of the ingredients together, being careful not to overly mix. Overmixing the mixture will cause your meatloaf to be tough.
Shape mixture into a loaf shape in prepared pan and top with sauce
Bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked through