When Simon and I first met, I wasn't terribly proficient at cooking. In fact, the one thing I felt confident about making was lasagna--which I completely and utterly ruined on the first time I attempted to cook it for Simon. Simon loved to cook, and had a terrible habit of taking over in the kitchen because he was convinced he could prepare something better or quicker than I could. It took him a while to relinquish control and let me chop onions the way I preferred, and just as long for me to start finding recipes that appealed to me and develop my own love of cooking.
This meatloaf was one of the first things I made for Simon after we moved in together in our third year of university, and in spite of how simple it is (I don't change a lot from the original recipe) it quickly became one of his favourite meals. I can nearly master his favourite roast potatoes (courtesy of Delia Smith) and we've served this meal with a variety of side dishes: green salad, roast asparagus, and braised cabbage.
I'm fairly certain I first came across this recipe on AllRecipes.com when I was searching for Amish-inspired meals, since I'd come across some appealing dishes in some Amish novels I'd read. I'm not sure how authentically Amish it is, but it's a great comfort meal and incredibly easy to make.
Adapted from Taste of Home.
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
2 slices of bacon
500g of minced beef
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 Ritz crackers (or similar), crushed
100g of Emmental or Gouda, cubed
1 tsp of dried sage
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper, dependent on personal taste
1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Fry or grill the bacon until cooked but not crisp, then drain on paper towels before breaking into pieces.
2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, making sure that the egg coats as much of the mixture as possible. Keep a few pieces of cheese aside to place on top of the meatloaf.
3. Transfer meatloaf mixture into a loaf tin and top with bacon. Cook in oven for 30 minutes.
4. Top the meatloaf with the remaining cheese and cook for a further 5 minutes.
6. Serve with roasted potatoes and your preferred vegetable side. Salads, asparagus and cabbage work well!