When you don’t know what to make for dinner, when you’re not particularly enamoured of making anything for dinner, this is the recipe you need. (Not to mention, the leftovers will make terrific meatloaf sandwiches for lunch!)
This recipe, from the Ed Debevik chain, is copied from a tattered, torn, and grease-spotted newspaper clipping in my files. I don’t even know why I keep it, because I make it by heart by now. Be sure to read my notes at the end…
Ed Debevik’s Burnt Meatloaf
(Ed calls it that because the tomato paste “icing” gets all black and crunchy. Trust me, you’ll like it!)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 large, heavy red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt & pepper to taste
3 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups fine, dry, seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup tomato paste
In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook, tossing and stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
Crumble the beef into another, larger bowl.
Add the egg mixture and partially combine.
Add the onion-bell pepper mixture and bread crumbs and combine lightly but thoroughly.
Pack the meat mixture into a 9-by-5-by-3 inch loaf pan, mounding it slightly; smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Spread the tomato paste in an even layer over the top of the loaf.
Put the pan on a cookie sheet to forestall any dripping onto your nice clean oven. Bake about 2 hours, until the top of the loaf is lightly blackened and an instant-reading thermometer reads 145 degrees F. Let stand on a rack for 10 minutes before slicing.
- If you, like me, don’t plan far enough ahead in the day to bake it for 2 hours, use two pans. The smaller loaves cook in about an hour, maybe a little longer.
- I usually do 2/3 ground beef, 1/3 ground pork.
- And more garlic.
- Half-and-half works as well as the heavy cream.
- The mixture should be moist and fluffy, not heavy, before you bake it. Trust me.
Vintage housewife illustration by Karen Arnold.