My mother tells the story of the time my paternal grandmother fixed meatloaf when my grandfather’s boss came to dinner. I assume said boss was not French because he was reportedly insulted although, in my family, meatloaf was always a special treat. Of course, no two meatloaves are exactly the same so this recipe is simply the one I made last night. The name beefloaf, which seems entirely appropriate for an all-beef meatloaf, was coined by my seventh cousin Michelle’s daughter, Sabrina, but the recipe is mine. Hers is, I am sure, at least as delicious!
2 pounds ground beef
3 or 4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 small or ½ medium bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. each of dried thyme, oregano, and parsley or any other herbs of your choosing
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup water or beef broth
1 Tbsp. Sriracha, ½ Tbsp. Tabasco, or an equivalent amount of the hot sauce of your choice, optional
Generous grind of black pepper
Salt, about 2 tsp. or to taste
Tomato sauce or ketchup to glaze, optional
This is my quickie food processor build-up method. You can always chop things individually if you prefer.
Crumble the meat into a large bowl.
Put the garlic into the food processor and chop finely. Add the onions and peppers and pulse until minced but not pureed. Put in the herbs and eggs. Pulse briefly to combine. Add the oatmeal, water or broth, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Pulse once more to combine.
Dump the contents of the food processor jar into the meat, moisten your hands to prevent sticking, and mix everything thoroughly. Turn into a lightly oiled loaf pan and press in to ensure that the corners are filled.
Turn your oven on to 350° (325° for convection). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the loaf pan upside down on the parchment and tap a few times until the loaf comes free. Reshape a bit if needed. If using, spread the tomato sauce or ketchup over the loaf, including the sides. Bake to an internal temperature of 150°, about 45 minutes to an hour, turn off the oven and let coast to at least 160°. Remove from the oven and allow to set for 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve as thick slices with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable, broccoli is especially good.
Serves 4 to 6, or two with lots of leftovers for sandwiches.