Growing up in a “culturally appreciative” home, T’s parents often prepared ethnically diverse meals. Not all of which were kid-friendly (borscht anyone?) So, one year for his birthday T asked for good ol’ American boy food: meat loaf and macaroni & cheese.
T celebrated his 32nd birthday on Sunday, so in honour of his youth, we celebrated with homemade meat loaf and macaroni & cheese (and fresh steamed green beans, of course!)
(Apropos: Meatloaf just doesn’t photograph well. But I can promise you it tastes better than it looks!)
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 celery stalk, finely chopped
-splash red wine (optional)
-1 medium carrot, peeled and finely shredded
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
-2 lbs lean ground beef
-1 8oz can tomato sauce
-1 1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
-1/4 cup ketchup
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add onion, celery, and wine. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic once onions and celery begin to soften and caramelize. (Be careful not to burn the garlic!)
In a large bowl, add bread crumbs, onion and celery mixture, carrots, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper; stir thoroughly to mix. Mix in egg and ground beef. Mix thoroughly, but do not over mix.
With your hands, shape mixture into an 12″ x 8″ loaf pan or baking dish.
In a separate bowl or cup, mix ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar; spoon over meat.
Bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, slice and serve warm. Or, refrigerate and serve cold.
-2 cups uncooked macaroni
-1 medium shallot
-1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
-1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
-16 oz package finely shredded cheddar
In a 3-quart sauce pan, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil; add macaroni and cook until tender but firm; drain.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter; add onion and cook until tender (about 5 minutes.) Blend in flour, mustard, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir in milk. Slice easy melt cheese and add piece by piece, stirring, until it completely melts. Stir in all but about a half cup of cheddar cheese, stir until all cheese has melted.
Place cooked macaroni in greased baking dish and pour cheese sauce over macaroni. Sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese, then with pecorino romano. Bake in over for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
Recipes adapted from: The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook (c) 1989