I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about food, planning what I’m going to eat, researching recipes, and, of course, making food. I knew when I made this gigantic quantity of meatloaf earlier in the week that I wanted to try making a meatloaf sandwich but I had no idea what constitutes a proper meatloaf sandwich. The one time I made a meatloaf sandwich recently, I slapped some butter on two toasted pieces of bread and it called it a day. I was too exhausted to put more effort into creating a sandwich.
But this go round I thought I would do a little bit of research and it turns out there are some strong opinions about meatloaf sandwiches. Well. There was one blog that conveyed some strong opinions about what is/is not appropriate ingredients to include in a meatloaf sandwich. Come to think of it, I didn’t really disagree with the strong opinions. I just didn’t bring all of them into my sandwich. I picked and chose from various recipes for meatloaf sandwiches and added some of my own bright ideas to get the below recipe. I was a bit nervous as I was assembling everything but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. The flavor combination was pretty much perfect.
So what did I do? First of all, I toasted white bread. In the opinionated blog I mentioned earlier it was put out there that white bread is the only acceptable type of bread on which you should eat a meatloaf sandwich. I’ll agree with that one. While obviously you can eat a meatloaf sandwich on any kind of bread, really – why would you choose wheat? A meatloaf sandwich is one of those foods that’s meant to be indulgent so don’t try to healthify it please! Also, I think it’s imperative you toast the bread. Meatloaf is dense and you need something that’s going to stand up below the bread. Wimpy bread need not apply for this recipe.
Second of all, you need mayo. And in my opinion you need it on both sides of your bread. I didn’t want just plain old mayo even though plain old mayo is just fine. I wanted something with a little pep. But I didn’t want it to have conflicting flavors. I’m big on chipotle mayo or any kind of spicy mayo but I didn’t think that a chipotle may would work well on this type of sandwich. It would be just too much flavor to contend with the already delicious flavor of the meatloaf. I thought back to a peppered balsamic mayo I ate once on a BLT. I immediately struck it from the equation because balsamic was not a flavor I wanted to throw into this profile. I liked the idea of pepper mayo though. I switched gears for a moment and contemplated doing a garlic mayo which I knew would be good. (Garlic makes everything better.) So I thought … why not combine the two? I was a bit apprehensive about this decision as I was mixing the mayo but had no regrets in the end. All I did to get a quick garlic pepper mayo was stir together some mayo (I always reach for avocado oil mayo) with a few turns of the pepper mill and some minced garlic (the jar variety).
Next, I sliced some fresh tomatoes. I used tomatoes on the vine instead of a big beefsteak tomato. I layered three tomatoes on one of the toasted bread slices already spread with a thick swab of mayo.
To cheese or not to cheese. That is the question. But really is it a question? If you prefer cheeseburgers over hamburgers, add cheese to your sandwich. I add three very thin slices of provolone.
I didn’t even consider lettuce and it’s not because I normally do not eat lettuce on sandwiches unless it’s spinach or arugula (and even that is quite rare). It’s because in the opinion blog, the writer felt very strongly that you need a crunchy lettuce on top of your meatloaf sandwich because meatloaf is so dense but soft. I considered this requirement and kind of agreed. It’s an opposites attract situation. You wouldn’t want something flimsy on top your loaf. Though I did see a really good looking version of a meatloaf sandwich topped with arugula, I decided to forgo lettuce altogether. I could not bring myself to put iceberg or romaine lettuce on top my sandwich. So that settled that.
Lastly, I wanted to replicate a recipe I saw that used French’s crispy fried onions as the topper to the sandwich. I didn’t feel like paying for a container of French’s crispy fried onions for one little sandwich though. I was pretty confident I could make my own. And I did. I just fried some thinly sliced onion in some vegetable oil until it began to crisp around the edges for the thicker slices and had browned all the way through for the thinner slices.
And that’s all she wrote. It was a bit complicated to make/assemble what with the homemade crispy fried onions but buying store-bought French’s would be an easy alternative.
- leftover meatloaf slices (cut to fit the size of your bread, if necessary and/or possible)
- white bread that won’t fall part when assembling (such as sourdough)
- mayo (flavored, if you’re daring)
- slices of your favorite flavor of cheese
- fresh tomato
- onions, sliced very thin
- If making homemade crunchy fried onions, heat a small pot of vegetable or canola oil over medium heat. Throw some sliced onions in and fry until brown and crispy or desired doneness. (This took me the entire time I was assembling the sandwich and then some. So start early!) When the onions are done, remove from oil, place on a plate or in a bowl lined with paper towel and allow to cool a bit.
- Meanwhile, spray a small frying pan with cooking spray and cook, covered, over medium-low heat. Cook until one side is golden brown and flip and repeat. When the meatloaf is just about done on the second side, remove lid, top with cheese and cover. Turn the heat off and let the pan sit on the hot burner and allow the cheese to melt.
- While the onions and meatloaf are cooking, start mixing together your mayo, slicing your tomato and toasting your bread. Once the bread is toasted, slather both pieces with a good amount of mayo.
- Top one of the mayo-slathered pieces of bread with some sliced tomato, the cheese covered meatloaf and fried onions. Place the other piece of mayo-slathered bread on top, cut in half and enjoy.