One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to cook simpler food more often. This was great news for my fiancé, who is a real meat-and-potatoes guy. Knowing that my fiancé's mother's meatloaf is pretty much his favorite meal in the world made me more than a little nervous, so just to be safe, I turned to a recipe written up by Jonathan Reynolds in an article about his friend, the actor (and excellent home cook) Oliver Clark. The resulting meatloaf was certainly the most tender and juicy of its kind that I have ever produced, and I was assured that it almost—but not quite—lived up to my future mother-in-law's famous version. —Merrill Stubbs
Heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has begun to soften and lightly caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until both the onion and garlic are soft and golden brown (be careful not to burn the garlic), about another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except for the eggs. Add a few good pinches of salt. Then, as Jonathan Reynolds recommends, "paw at it with two forks, combining thoroughly but not overmixing." Gently stir in the eggs and the browned onions and garlic, mixing just until combined.
Gently shape the mixture into a rough football and nestle it snugly into a loaf pan, patting it down so the top is fairly flat. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes, then brush the top lightly with ketchup and return to the oven for 10 to 20 more minutes. The meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches about 145°F. Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.