Marine management

David’s Daily Dish: Father’s Day Meatloaf Guaranteed to Put a Smile on Dad’s Face (With Recipe)

Ok, we can all agree that we need to do something special for dear old dad this Sunday on his big day, but we can’t seem to agree on what the special is. Do we buy him something practical like eye-catching? new underwear or a new tie to wear to church on Sunday? Or do we invest in something quirky, like a dose of his favorite perfume to go out with or a case of expensive golf balls that he can lose with impunity?

Listen folks: stop thinking about it. It is not that hard.

Forget fancy ties or gym clothes, if you really want to show your dad how you really feel about him, make him a meatloaf.

You read that right, I said meatloaf. A loaf of meat, prepared by your own hand and served with love, is (in my opinion) the ultimate unspoken way to say, “I love you and thank you for what you do.”

Why, you ask, meatloaf? good, why not? It’s the ultimate so-called comfort food and everyone loves it. But more importantly, it’s suitable for home cooks of all experience levels. In other words, it’s easy to make.

As you can probably tell by now, your working boy is a huge and die-hard fan of this very traditional American dish. It’s the pinnacle of fine dining to me, and just writing about this iconic entree makes me feel better.

And like I said, it’s very forgiving and one of the easier appetizers that beginners can try to cook at home. That said, it requires some technique and you can screw it up if you work really hard at it.

There is literally an unlimited variety of meatloaf recipes out there on the internet. You can make this as fancy or as simple as you like; Some recipes call for ground veal and others use ground turkey. Like I said, it’s up to you what you do.

However, the most popular version calls for a combination of ground beef, egg, dry breadcrumbs, and some sort of seasoning, and while this is an excellent entry-level model, it’s not what I call a display case meatloaf.

I’ve been making this for years using this simple formula and there’s nothing wrong with it, but a few years ago I got the idea (stole) that if I replaced half the ground beef with ground pork it would result in a juicier, more spicy meatloaf. Also, I like pork.

The only thing you can really do to screw this up (besides getting distracted by a law-and-order marathon and burn it up) is to overhaul the mix. I like to use my hands to get in there and make sure everything is combined without overdoing it.

And walk lightly on the salt. The onion soup mix tends to be salty, so use a light hand if you salt at all.

Pair this with a delicious gravy and rice and you have a wonderful Father’s Day party that any dad will appreciate. And you can claim it as your own, I don’t care. Just save me the tail.

meatloaf

8-10 servings

1 pound ground beef

1 pound very lean ground beef (at least 85 percent lean)

1 package dry onion soup mix

1 egg

1-1½ cups dry breadcrumbs (see note)

About ½ cup of tomato sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the ground beef and ground beef in a large bowl. Mix well to combine so two meats are evenly distributed.

Add onion soup mix, egg, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce and garlic. Stir to incorporate. If the mixture doesn’t hold together, add a little more breadcrumbs and stir again.

Shape into a loaf and bake for 45 minutes.

Top the meatloaf with the remaining tomato sauce and place back in the oven. Cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.

Note: I like Italian breadcrumbs, but that’s entirely up to you.