Who Says Superbowl Food Has To be Junk?

Lou Hammond’s Meatloaf RecipeWhere is it written that when you give a party around this celebrated American tradition, you have to stock up on a bunch of bad-for-you junk food?  Who started that tradition.

I say,  let’s do something different this year.  Serve hearty, delicious real food.  Make it easy on yourself, by choosing a simple one-dish preparation. Go ahead and get the Superbowl paper plates and napkins and cups if you wish.

But don’t succumb to the siren song of dips and chips.  Ugh.

And this brings me to meat loaf.  Lou Hammond’s famous meatloaf, developed in the fifties in my home state of Texas long before Lou brought her never to be forgotten recipe to New York, along with her great talent as a publicist.

Lou serves her meat loaf at all kinds of parties.  You can too. With Lou Hammond’s meatloaf,  every night’s a party.  Shape the thing like a great big football, serve a side sauce so simple its nothing more than heated Silver Palate marinara sauce.  Trust me when I tell you, you can think of this as your own personal Hail Mary Pass.

It goes together in five minutes flat, it’s in the oven with potatoes to roast alongside, and believe me,  that’s a touch down.

Thank you Lou, and thank you, Rose Gilbert who had the recipe in a drawer, fumbled and lost it, then cleaned out her drawers and recovered it.  Way to go, Rose.  You save the big day game.

Lou Hammond’s Meat Loaf Recipe

Makes 8 to 12 healthy servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 large beaten eggs

½ teaspoon chopped thyme

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon (or to taste) Tabasco sauce

1 cup milk

2 pounds best quality ground meat (mixed veal, pork, beef)

2/3 cup crushed saltines

¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley + more for plate garnish

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

6 ounces thin-sliced bacon

2 pounds fingerling or small new potatoes

rosemary sprigs for garnish

1 jar best quality marinara sauce (we like Silver Palate)

Preheat the oven to 350˚.  Saute onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat just until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set it aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and milk.  Add meat, saltines, parsley, onion/garlic, and salt and pepper.  Knead with your hands until well-mixed.

Form into a large football shape on a cookie sheet with sides. Wrap with bacon, with slices lengthwise over the top and tucked under to cover the meat completely. Toss potatoes in olive oil and arrange around the side of the meat loaf.

Bake for 1 hour (160˚ F. on a meat thermometer). Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Make a bed of roasted potatoes.  Garnish with rosemary. Heat the marinara sauce and serve alongside in a gravy boat.  Yum.