It’s been raining for what feels like 6 years here in NYC, and the pessimist in me can’t believe that Summer is every coming. So, I have decided to keep warming my family’s bones with winter meal staple recipes. My Uncle Frank taught me this recipe and it has been a family fave ever since.

Meatloaf is something I can easily whip up on any weeknight and I do (my husband has this once a week and then again for lunch the next day). It’s a dump and mix recipe that requires little clean-up and makes a great lunch for my husband the next day.

P.S. I usually don’t serve this with a side dish (already told you about my side dish issues-lol) but had some extra family members over last week and I figured I’d make it extra special. The Roasted Potatoes are extra special due to the yummy grape tomatoes which burst and get extra sweet in the oven.

Note: I don’t eat red meat so I usually cut the entire recipe in half and only make 1 lb of meat. One Pound usually yields enough for my husband to have dinner and lunch the next day. Cutting the recipe in half allows you to cook the meatloaf in about 30-40 minutes.

Meatloaf with Double Tomato Crust
Serves 6 people

2 lbs of ground chuck beef (you can certainly substitute a healthier beef or even ground turkey or chicken but my husband likes fattier stuff-LOL)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c apple sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 c ketchup (for topping)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon mustard
2 cloves, garlic, minced
1/2 c seasoned breadcrumbs (I prefer 4 C breadcrumbs)
1 can tomato paste

Link
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and coat with olive oil.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, apple sauce, 2 tbsps ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, mustard, garlic and breadcrumbs. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix or you will toughen the meat.

Transfer meat to baking sheet and shape into a loaf shape that is about 10 inches long and 3 inches wide.

Using a butter knife or offset spatula, spread entire can of tomato paste over the meatloaf. Using the same knife, spread remaining 1/2 c of ketchup on top of the tomato paste.

Place in oven and bake until meat is completely cooked through, about 1 hour.

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Grape Tomatoes
Serves 6 people

4 large white skinned potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (no need to peel unless you don’t like the skin)
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Toss all of the ingredients in a large bowl and spread on baking sheet and bake.

About halfway though the cooking, flip potatoes around to make sure they are browning evenly.

Bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are golden and crisp and tomatoes burst.

TIP: Cook meatloaf and potatoes at the same time. Place the meat loaf on the bottom wrack and the potatoes on the top rack of your oven. Halfway through cooking, switch them around.

TIP: I like to prepare this meatloaf in the morning so it’s ready and waiting for me to bake when I get home from work.

LUNCH IDEA:

This is one of my husbands favorite lunches.

Meatloaf and Cheddar Sandwich on a Crusty Roll
Serves 1

1 crusty roll
2 slices of last nights meatloaf (see recipe above)
2 slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese ( I used white cheddar)

Place cheddar on one half of the crusty roll and toast under the broiler until melted.

Cut 2 1/2 inch slices of day old meatloaf and place on roll. Wrap in foil and send ‘em packing!