Noah texts me the other day from his friend’s house: “Mom, would you make meatloaf for me?”
Why, yes! Yes, I will. I never get asked to make meatloaf. Mark only tolerates it so I know pushing the leftovers will be an uphill battle. In it’s original form – that is warm out of the pan – Noah really only tolerates it as well. However, I have introduced my son the best and highest use of meatloaf, taking it to the mountain top: the meatloaf sandwich.
It is a Chapin tradition. My father taught me all about the meatloaf sandwich. My mother, I imagine, was perplexed. “Why would you eat it cold?” Because it tastes so dang good. I don’t understand why every restaurant in America doesn’t serve a meatloaf sandwich.
Of course, you have to start with really good meatloaf. After experimenting with at least a dozen different recipes, I have settled on this one from Jack Bishop from America’s Test Kitchen. The real secret is the saltines combined with milk to make the meat mixture lighter. The recipe makes a two-pound loaf, which is really required to assure an adequate amount of leftovers for the sandwiches. Have I told you of my intense dislike for leftovers? I just can’t understand them. I like to eat something once and then move on. This is my only exception.
But I digress. So to make the perfect meatloaf sandwich, you must have soft bread. It can be any color – white, wheat, or in this case, pumpernickel. Spread it liberally with mayonnaise. Duke’s is preferable. Both sides of the bread, of course. Then top the bread with thin slices of meatloaf. You want the proper bread to meat ratio observed at all times. Next, salt and pepper liberally. Then add a good piece of lettuce. I prefer romaine, but this is also a perfect situation for iceberg, a vastly underrated lettuce in my opinion. Oh, I almost forgot. Each slice of meatloaf must contain part of the ketchup glaze. It is that mixing of the glaze and the mayonnaise that takes this thing over the top.
I am proud to report that in just three days, between Noah and myself, we have consumed the entire 1.8 pounds of meatloaf, discounting for that original supper. If you want to have the complete experience, serve with kettle potato chips. And Diet Coke.