Friday, January 11, 2008

Tony D's Meatloaf and Gravy

Remember pulling into a roadside diner with the blinking “Eats” or “Mom’s Home Cooking” neon sign? Well so do I. Even better yet, I was a short order cook in one of those joints back in the 70’s. The diner had been there since 1930 with the same owner and the customers raved about our meatloaf. Here’s how I did it.

Ingredients for two servings

1 lb ground beef 80/20
One egg
Bread crumbs, I prefer Italian seasoned
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Beef bouillon or two cans of beef broth
Gravy Master 1 teaspoon

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Get out a big bowl and break the egg and add a splash of milk like you are going to make scrambled eggs. Whisk until yellow. Dump in ground beef and mix together. Add a good dash of bread crumbs so that you can’t see the top of the meat. Sprinkle on garlic powder, as much as you like. Give a good shake of onion powder. Throw a little more milk on there and stir the whole mess together until it forms a firm loaf. You can always add bread crumbs or milk to change the consistency. Put in metal loaf pan and place in oven for 45 minutes. Take out and check loaf by piercing top and look for clear juices. You may need to put back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes if you like it well done. Remember you are going to be making gravy that takes about 15 minutes so don’t overcook it yet. Remove loaf from pan, put on serving platter, cover with foil and keep in a warm place. To make the gravy place the loaf pan directly on a stove burner. Here’s the secret to making gravy without lumps. Take four level tablespoons of flour and without turning on the burner, slowly, using another spoon, mix the flour into the pan drippings until you have a paste. If you are using beef broth slowly pour into pan while turning the heat on low. Mix the paste with the broth. If you are using bouillon cubes, add two cups of water and mix. Don’t add cubes yet. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t boil over. Once it comes to a boil add cubes and smash them down with the flat side of a spoon. If using broth don’t add cubes! Boil gently for 5 minutes and viola…you’re done. And don’t forget, slopping ketchup on top of meatloaf is a felony where I come from, so don’t even try it. Serve with real mashed potato’s and corn with butter. It doesn’t get any better than this!