Culinary Essentials is a recurring feature that aims to give guys a few go-to recipes that are tasty, healthy, and almost impossible to fuck up. Almost.

Everybody loves Mom’s meatloaf. Sidled up with a towering heap of buttery mashed potatoes, little else compares to a couple of thick-cut slices of loaf. It’s a childhood staple, and it would be a shame if you went about in your adult life without wielding the culinary broadsword that is a good meat loaf. I picked up this recipe during my first year as a post-graduate bachelor and it remains firmly cemented in my monthly rotation. Don’t be put off by the lack of red meat. Some properly seasoned ground turkey gets close to being just as good.

Also, I should note that many of the quantities are, at best, unscientific. I throw in salt, pepper, etc. largely by feel. Cook more and you’ll start doing the same thing. I’m being a smart ass, but my dad always said it’s better to be a smart ass than a dumb ass.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1.25 pounds ground turkey. Get the free range shit. It makes a difference.

1 egg. See above. It makes a difference.

1/4 cup bread crumbs. I find the Japanese variety to be the best.

1 slice of bread, cut in half. It doesn’t really matter what kind. Whatever you like with your PB&J.

Set this all aside, you’ll need it in a bit.

1/2 yellow onion.

olive oil

Worcester Sauce

red pepper flakes

salt

pepper

2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

Pre-heat your oven to 325 F

Heat up the olive oil, enough to saute the onion until translucent. Add the salt, pepper, and the red pepper flake (quantity based on your heat threshold) while the onion is cooking. Once done, add in the Worcester and the tomato paste and stir around until everything is incorporated and consistent. Pour the contents in a bowl and throw it in the fridge. Ideally you would wait until the mixture is room temp, but I’m typically too impatient to wait. It’s up to you.

Get a big ‘ole mixing bowl and slop in the ground turkey, followed by the eggs, breadcrumbs and onion slurry you just prepared. Now, get messy. Mix everything up with your hands until it appears to be something that would make a homogenous loaf and set it aside.

Grab your loaf pan, give it a nice grease (whatever spray oil or butter works fine) and line the bottom of the pan with the bread. It sounds weird, but this step is crucial. Ground turkey has a lot of water in it so you’ll want something in there to soak it up and avoid your loaf becoming a sludge. Throw in the turkey mixture over the bread and spread out into the corners. Squirt some ketchup on top and pop it in the oven.

Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.

When the loaf is done, take it out and turn over the loaf on a cutting board. Cut those slices thick, and be sure to have those mashed potatoes handy. Then, we scarf.

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Peter Secan

Peter Secan

Peter is an architectural designer, freelance writer, and creator of The Self Aware Man. He wants to use this blog to share his thoughts and experiences, and much of his power is derived from the baldness of his head. He currently freelances for several blogs, including BusyBoo, Easy Render and Games Like Zone.

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