Main dish options

Pictured: Homemade meatloaf with a traditional ketchup topping.

A “meat and three” restaurant is a beloved Southern institution. Here in the South, we revere this dining concept as it evokes memories of buffet lines after church or on other special occasions, whether at a relative’s home or at a local dining establishment. The cafeteria style approach of “meat and three” allows the diner to choose a meat and then pick sides from a variety of options. Looking for a local place that serves this type of menu? Traveling out of town and want to find a homestyle restaurant? Check out MeatandThree.com, an online directory of “meat and three” restaurants. In the Fort Payne area, you will find Tigers Inn and Sally’s Smokin’ Butt listed on the website. With the recipes featured here, all that is needed is a side or two (or three) to go with it. Serve one of these meaty main dish entrees with vegetables, rice, casseroles, macaroni and cheese, or salads of your choice.

Traditional Meatloaf

• ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs

• 1/3 cup milk

• ½ cup ketchup

• 1/8 tsp. red wine vinegar

• 2-3 dashes dry mustard powder

• 1 TBSP. light brown sugar

• 1 onion, diced

• ½ TBSP. vegetable oil

• 2 lbs. ground beef

• 1 lb. ground pork or ground veal or just use an additional 1 lb. ground beef

• 3 ½ TBSP. Worcestershire sauce

• 2 tsp. salt

• 1 ½ tsp. black pepper

• 2 large eggs, slightly beaten

• Freshly cracked black pepper

In a large capacity bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and milk; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, vinegar, mustard powder, and brown sugar; set aside. In a skillet, sauté the onion in the oil until golden brown. Remove from heat. Add the meat, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and eggs to the breadcrumb mixture. Work the mixture together and form a firm loaf; press into a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Use a brush and coat the ketchup mixture over the top and add some freshly cracked black pepper to the top. Bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees, until dark golden brown and slightly darkened around the edges.

Cranberry-Orange Baked Chicken

• 6-8 boneless chicken breasts

• 1 (16 oz.) can whole cranberry sauce

• 1 (8 oz.) bottle Catalina Dressing

• 1 (1 oz.) envelope onion soup mix

• 2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained

• Salt and pepper to taste

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper; lay chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan. In a bowl, whisk together the cranberry sauce, dressing, and onion soup mix. Stir in the mandarin oranges. Pour sauce mixture over the chicken breasts. Cover with foil. Bake for 50 minutes covered, and continue baking 15-20 minutes uncovered or until the chicken is cooked through.

Crock Pot Roast

• 1 (3.5-4.5 lb.) beef roast

• 1 (1 oz.) envelope Ranch Dressing seasoning mix

• 1 (0.87 oz.) envelope brown gravy mix

• 1 (0.6 oz.) envelope Italian Dressing seasoning mix

• 1 ½ TBSP. dried minced onion

• 3/4 cup water

Place the roast in the bottom of lightly greased crock pot. Whisk together the seasoning packets, dried onion, and water. Pour over the roast. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Seasoned Steak

• 1 ½ -2 lbs. (thin cut) sirloin or strip steaks, or any tender, thin cut of steak

• 3 TBSP. butter

• ¾ TBSP. seasoned salt

• 1 TBSP. Italian seasoning

• ½ tsp. garlic powder

• ½ tsp. onion powder

• ¼ tsp. black pepper

• 1 ½ tsp. red wine vinegar

• Combine the salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Season the steaks with the spice mix, coating all sides of the steaks. Drizzle the steaks with the red wine vinegar. Refrigerate the steaks for about 30 minutes. Preheat a large iron skillet or griddle over medium heat; melt the butter. Add the steaks to the pan and cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

— Amy Fischer lives in Fort Payne, Alabama, and is a Southern food enthusiast who loves to spend time in the kitchen creating tasty recipes. You can contact her at facebook.com/MySouthernTable.

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