The other night my husband requested meatloaf for dinner, I decided to go with a recipe my dad used to make when I was kid. When I was younger, meatloaf was pretty much a weeknight dinner staple in our home. Most likely because my father, who was a stay-at-home dad took much pride in making this meal. I am not entirely sure where this recipe developed, but he would share it with anyone who would listen (I wonder where I get that from?). There might even be some PTA moms out there that used this recipe. He would even joke around and make a “Bob” face on it, like literally making a mustache, nose and eyes out of onions. I’m kind of sad that I couldn’t perfect this recipe before he passed, but I didn’t find his stash of recipe cards until after the fact.
I considered tweaking the recipe a bit, with more fresh ingredients, but I think that would take away from the integrity of the meal. My dad made this recipe during a time when what to make for dinner was more simple. Eating organic, natural or grass fed beef wasn’t a big thing. This recipe is a very straightforward, comforting, weeknight dinner, with no frills at all, well unless you want to make a “Bob” face on the loaf. My memory is a bit foggy, but I think once he even tried to mold the beef into a swan.
All you need is 9 ingredients, including salt and pepper. Of these 9 ingredients, most likely you have 7 of them already in you pantry. All you need to do is combine them in a bowl, mold into a loaf or any shape you prefer and pop it in the oven, about an hour later, dinner is served. The secret ingredient, which you don’t see too often in meatloaf recipes, is sour cream. I was a bit skeptical at first using sour cream, but it really does make the dish. The loaf comes out incredibly moist and the outside is crisp, all the things you look for in a good meatloaf.
After about an hour in a 350℉ oven and when the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 160℉, dinner is served! A classic side item that my dad made with this meatloaf, which I didn’t end up making this particular night, because my husband wanted mashed potatoes (I hate mashed potatoes) is a modified version of Lipton onion-roasted potatoes. I included that recipe below, but really there is no right or wrong side to go with this meal. I hope your family enjoys this dinner as much as I did, when I was a kid.
Bob’s Famous Meatloaf
1.5 pounds ground beef, 80% lean
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sour cream, regular or light
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Form into a loaf and place on a sheet pan lined with non-stick foil or regular foil that is lightly greased. Bake for 1 hour or until the internal temperature is 160℉. Serve with your favorite side(s) or Onion-Roasted Potatoes (recipe below). If you are making the onion-roasted potatoes, you can just add them around the meatloaf to roast.
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, cut into large chunks (about 4 potatoes)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 425℉. Combine all ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Place in a baking or roasting pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.
adapted from Lipton Onion-Roasted Potatoes