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Dave's Dinners: A Fresh Approach To Home-Cooked Meals
by Dave Lieberman

This is a very special, personal recipe for me because it came from a very special, personal person: my grandmother. I call my grandmother Bubby (her real name is Shirley), and this is one of the dishes she makes for me when we are together. My Bubby has been making this for me for over twenty-five years and I was addicted to this meat loaf as a little kid. Bubby had to cut me off after seconds.
Serves 8


    For the Meat Loaf
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 ounces tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 15 grinds fresh black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 pounds ground beef, 85-90% lean
    • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, pressed

    For the Red Pepper Sauce
    • 3 ounces tomato paste
    • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 small red pepper, seeded, cored, and roughly chopped
    • 1½ cups water
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 15 grinds fresh black pepper

    • 1½ pounds small red potatoes, halved

    For the Green Beans

    • 1 pound string beans, trimmed
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • Salt
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Whisk together the eggs, tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and work together completely until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Place the meat mixture into a baking pan and shape into a loaf about 11 inches long and 4 inches wide. The loaf should be in the middle of the pan.

Make the red pepper sauce by placing all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pureeing till smooth. Cover the meat loaf with red pepper sauce and allow the excess sauce to pool in around the meat loaf. Cover the pan with aluminum foil but avoid contact with the meal loaf by leaving at least a couple of inches of space between the top of the meat loaf and the foil.

Bake 45 minutes, then uncover, scatter, and submerge the potatoes in the pan juices, and bake 45 minutes longer, until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Make the string beans: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook for just 1 to 2 minutes, until the beans turn bright green. Strain them and run under cold water to stop them from cooking.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few pinches of salt and the vinegar and let cook down for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the beans to coat them thoroughly and evenly with the dressing.

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