Winter Warm Up: Comforting Meatloaf?

by in Recipes, January 28th, 2011
easy skillet meatloaf
Cooking meatloaf in small mini loaves makes quick work of this comforting dinner.

On the East Coast and around the country, as cities continue to be slaughtered by the snow, what better way to warm up than with cozy comfort foods? Recently I decided to mix up my normal mac and cheese routine with a meatier classic: Meatloaf.

Just like Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years I always wondered what was really in meatloaf. I remember dreading it as part of elementary school cafeteria lunches, scarred of the “mysterious meat.” But I knew there had to be some compelling, retro magic to the dish, since it pops up in every classic American sitcom.

I decided the best beginner’s recipe would be Mini Skillet Meatloaves from Food Network Magazine. The recipe calls for ground beef, pork or veal so I asked the butchers at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats what the best choice would be. On their advice I decided to kick it old school – after all I did grow up wondering “Where’s The Beef?”

So, the “mystery meat” mixture I created was a lot less mysterious and more grown up than I expected, including garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, milk and Worcestershire sauce – all combined to produce the most heavenly aroma on a cold winter night. And in 20 minutes, my sad meatloaf history was wiped away by these delightful pan-seared loaves. The scrumptious sauce added a surprising, delightful flavor boost – apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup. Amazingly, this recipe transformed my school lunch nightmare into a cozy cure for cabin fever. I also cooked up Bobby Flay’s sautéed kale as a healthy side for good measure, because I actually enjoy eating my vegetables as a grownup.

—Reena Mehta

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