I’m going to say something that is going to make me WILDLY unpopular, but, I’m a huge racist…
…wait for it…
…against the autumn.
(Ew. Not a REAL racist, you jerks.)
I hate fall. I don’t swoon over pumpkin spice. I like when the leaves change because it’s pretty, but then the trees are naked. For like, a really long time. And don’t even get me started on the cold.
Ok, fuck it. I got started on the cold. I’m from Florida. I went to an outdoor high school. And during the fall and winter, I wore a heavy down coat to get from class to class. And I’m pretty sure it got to 50 at the lowest. Is it ridiculous? Yeah. And do I hate it? YES.
I hate sweaters. Because sweaters make you sweat. (It’s IN the NAME.) And because I’m basically Madame Maxine, sleeves don’t fit me. Every sweater is basically 2-8 inches too short.
So, yeah. I prefer the summer.
One of my besties, Alison, is the official ambassador for autumn. She’s trying to convince me to love it. She’s doing a pretty good job so far because she dropped off a lovely jar of hot cocoa on my porch on Thursday morning JUST BECAUSE. That made me like fall (and her) just a little bit more.
If truth be told, the one thing I’m excited about from an autumnal perspective is the food. Cause, duh. Fall is is the time for soup and comfort food. Which is why I made decided to make Alex Guarnaschelli’s Mom’s Meatloaf.
My mom has always made good meatloaf. For me, meatloaf always comes with velvety, buttery mashed potatoes and crisp, salty green beans. That’s how I always had it growing up. It’s like a hug from the past.
….Which is why it was a huge disappointment when I made soupy mashed potatoes and corn. THAT is like someone reminding you that your favorite dog died on your 8th birthday. (Oh, Chi Chi!)
But hey, at least the meatloaf was good. Actually, it was great. A comforting reminder of home and family and warmth and….the seasons…and oh shit….maybe I do like fall after all.
I BLAME ALISON.
Mom’s Meatloaf from Old School Comfort Food
- 2 teaspoons canola oil, plus more if needed
- 2 small yellow onions, minced (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher sald
- 1 pound ground beef, preferably 8 ounces ground sirloin and 8 ounces ground chuck
- ¾ pound ground pork, preferably shoulder
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons plain dried bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- 2/3 cup ketchup, plus more for brushing, preferably Heinz
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 medium bunch curly parsley, leaves chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1 medium bunch fresh tarragon, leaves chopped (2 tablespoons)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus another as needed
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you are like me, you will use aluminum foil and you will have your meatloaf stick. If you use aluminum foil, spray your foil with cooking spray, people.
Make the meatloaf mix. In a medium skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring from time to time, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and set aside to cool. Reserve the pan; do not wipe it out.
Put the beef and pork in a large bowl and gently knead them together with your hands. Spread the meat out on the bottom and the sides of the bowl and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Add the paprika, the pepper, bread crumbs, ketchup, sour cream, parsley, tarragon, the onion mixture, and 3 of the eggs. Mix to blend.
Taste test. Heat the skillet over medium heat; if there isn’t a sufficient layer of fat left in the pan, add a little more oil. When the pan is hot, lower the heat and add a small piece of the meatloaf mixture. Cook until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and taste. If too moist, add more bread crumbs. If too dry, add another egg.
Mold the meat mixture [ew] into the shape of a rectangular loaf pan, roughly 9 x 5 inches, and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. The meat will feel slightly wet. It should form into a ball but still stick to your hands slightly. Bake for 15 minutes.
Brush the meatloaf with additional ketchup and lower the oven temperature to 350. Bake until meat is firm when touched or when it has an internal temperature of 150, 30 to 35 minutes more. Remove from oven, pour off any excess grease, and allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Brush again with ketchup, if desired.