Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, and a side of peas – one of my all-time favorite meals growing up. Especially the meatloaf made by my paternal grandmother, Sylvia. Moist, full of flavor from green onions and garlic, and an incredible gravy. My mom’s meatloaf was nothing to sneeze at either, as it was based on grandma Sylvia’s recipe, but it had bellpeppers and onions, too. Meatloaf was such a regular part of our dinner repertoire growing up that I assumed it was part of everyone’s childhood. Well, assuming does nothing but get you into trouble, or in my case, leaves you with a large meatloaf that only you will eat. Yes, you got it, the first time I made meatloaf the husband ate it, not happily, but he ate it. After some questioning on my part, he confessed that he didn’t like meatloaf. Didn’t like meatloaf? Who doesn’t like meatloaf? Well, my husband, obviously, stating he didn’t like the texture. This confused me a bit, as he likes meatballs, and the texture is similiar. Never one to back down, I continued my line of questioning, and finally, I got to the heart of the matter. It wasn’t just the texture, but he also didn’t like the flavor combinations in the meatloaf, saying that it was too much like a meatball, but with brown gravy. Thus began the great meatloaf compromise, a 3-year period of trial and error, which had me creating a myriad of meatloaf recipes that I shaped into meatball sized loaves. Finally, I arrived at today’s recipe, which he not only likes, but will also eat leftovers the next day. That, my friends, is the sign of a husband-approved recipe! I serve these with mashed potatoes or rice, whichever he requests; no peas, though, as that’s a battle for another day. Hope you all enjoy them, too!
Compromised Meatloaf Printable recipe
2 lbs ground chuck
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup tap water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a large baking pan with parchment or spray with non-stick spray and set aside. (I use a jelly roll-sized pan).
In a large bowl, break up the ground chuck. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently with your hands. Allow the mixture to rest for about 15 minutes.
Using an 1/4 cup ice-cream scoop, portion out the mixture onto wax paper; gently form into oval shaped meatballs. You will have approximately 24 meatballs.
Place meatballs onto prepared pan, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, allowing meatballs to brown. Remove from oven and prepare gravy.
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup flour
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups beef broth
Salt & pepper to taste
Make a roux with the flour and oil, cooking until a dark brown. Be careful not to burn the roux, as you will ruin your gravy.
Add chopped vegetables, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add beef broth, one cup at a time, stirring constantly until roux and broth is well-combined into a gravy.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add meatballs to the gravy, return to a boil again, then reduce to a simmer, and cover, and continue to cook another 20 minutes. If a thicker gravy is desired, increase the temperature, leave the cover ajar, return to a boil, and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Serve over mashed potatoes or steamed rice.
Since I think meatloaf and mashed potatoes is one of the most comforting, soul-satisfying meals I could ever eat, I’m linking to girlichef’s Two for Tuesdays and Fudge Ripple’s Tuesday Night Supper Club.