Since it’s now been 14 months since P.’s been out of work, things have definitely been a little more frugal around here in recent weeks. We’re staring down potential losses of both unemployment and health insurance later this year, so we’ve been trying to conserve some money by working our way through the stockpile that is our pantry and freezer. Most of the “new” things we have purchased have been “back to our roots” – lots of ground beef and chicken, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc – frozen or canned veggies instead of fresh.
That doesn’t mean that we’re eating badly, mind you. Cheap does not have to necessarily mean gnarly. Lucky for us, much “frugal” food has a built in comfort factor, and a reason that they’re American classics. This meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green bean meal is no exception.
The glaze is what makes the meatloaf – and the smaller loaves make for a shorter cooking time. The method of boiling the garlic with the potatoes increases the delicious garlic flavor of the mashed potatoes – we’ll be doing it this way from now on. What are some of your favorite comfort food classics?
Glazed Mini Meatloaves
slightly adapted from Cast Sugar’s adaptation of a Sara Moulton recipe
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 c. milk
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. chopped parsley
2 lbs. 90% lean ground round
To make the glaze: combine ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.
For the meatloaves, preheat the oven to 350F. Oil a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until the vegetables have softened and are starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit.
In a large bowl, add the milk, egg, mustard, hot sauce, salt, thyme, marjoram, and pepper and whisk together to combine. Add the ground meat, bread crumbs, and parsley and combine well.
Divide meatloaf mixture into 4 balls, and form each ball into an oval. Brush with glaze, and bake 25-30 minutes. Divide the rest of the glaze equally over the 4 meatloaves, and bake until the internal temperature reads 165F when tested with an instant-read thermometer (an additional 10 minutes in my convection oven, possibly longer in a conventional oven). Serve at once, while warm.
Supreme Garlic Mashed Potatoes
adapted from Recipezaar
6-8 potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
1/2 – 1 c. butter
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. milk, more if needed
Handful of peeled garlic cloves (we used about 10-20)
Boil potatoes and the garlic cloves together. When tender, mash with potato masher and add butter. Mash some more, add sour cream and enough milk to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.