Mom’s Meatloaf with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Just between us folks, I have a slightly secret and not so tiny love for Campbell’s┬ácondensed soups. Ok, not their soup in general, but the condensed Mushroom Soup in particular. Every once in a while, despite the soups and stews I make from scratch, a bowl of condensed mushroom soup just hits the spot. Don’t tell anyone though.

While I crave the occasional bowl, I have never quite been able to bring myself to use said soup in a casserole, a favorite ingredient of many. It just seems too house dress-y, too 1950s, too Leave it to Beaver.

There is however one beloved recipe from my childhood that embraces the murky, sloppy soup. My mother’s Meatloaf. Nothing fancy, nothing over the top, just good old fashioned meatloaf, no hard boiled egg or sticky glaze required.

Last night, for the first night in a long time, I felt like a little slice of my childhood.

Mom’s Meatloaf with Roasted Tomato Sauce (serves 4-6)

For the Meatloaf

2 lbs ground meat (combine pork, beef and veal if you can)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup bread crumbs
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead with your hands until fully combined. Place the mixture in a large loaf pan and bake at 350F for 60-90 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour excess fat and liquid from the pan. Let cool, turn out onto a cutting board and slice.

For the Tomato Sauce

2 lbs grape tomatoes
1 large onion, cut into eighths
1 head garlic, top 1/2 inch removed
10 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar

In a large roasting pan combine grape tomatoes, onion and the head of garlic. Sprinkle the vegetables with olive oil, thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Roast at 350F for 1 hour. Squeeze the roasted garlic out onto the tomatoes. Place all ingredients in a Cuisinart and blend until no chunks remain. Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and reheat on a low heat.

Slice the meatloaf and serve with the tomato sauce.