There are few dishes easier to make and as satisfying to eat as a good meat loaf. It is not hard to make it in a kitchen in Mexico. You'll need a reliable oven.
(Photo from Internet)
For the meat loaf itself, I like a combination of 2/3rds lean ground beef and 1/3 ground pork. Speak with your butcher. Get the meat freshly ground to order. Ask him for some additional fat, "para que el pastel de carne salga jugoso."
For filler, I prefer dry breadcrumbs. Seasoning varies according to my mood, but I always use minced onion, garlic, s&p, Worcester Sauce, and at least one dried herb. Today I used oregano, because that's what I had.
A couple of eggs to bind it together and some milk to moisten the breadcrumbs*. Topping: I really like it with a brown gravy, but that's hard to generate from meatloaf pan drippings. You could cleverly improvise a brown gravy with those Costilla Jugosa cubes made by Knorr-Suiza and sold in better supermercados. Last time I made it, I went the second best way, and coated the top with Heinz ketchup and three strips of good, hickory smoked bacon. While the not-crisp bacon detracts somewhat from the meatloaf flavor, it is mighty good to nibble on just before scarfing the meat loaf itself.
Baking container: I don't like the results when it's cooked in a loaf pan, so I always cook it in a baking tray with sides. It browns on all sides this way. If I'd only remembered to lay down some parchment paper first, it would have been an easier clean up. Typical baking time to doneness averages 1 hour at 350º F.
The above meat loaf had been pre-tested by a panel of one; a small slice nestled into a warm, freshly baked potato roll, and a squirt of ketchup more. I immodestly give the combination 4 stars out of a possible 5. Brown gravy would have probably gotten it a 5.
*Once, long ago, while a Cook Specialist 6 in the Missouri Army National Guard, we made a huge batch of meat loaves using sweetened colored cereals, such as Froot Loops and Cap'n Crunch. The results were well-received by the men in our unit. But that was before my tastes had matured. ;-)
With meatloaf, some real mashed potatoes, enriched with butter and half and half or even evaporated milk is traditional. A touch of freshly grated nutmeg is nice. (nuez de moscada) Fresh green beans (ejotes) are a nice contrast if cooked crisp-tender.
Have some fresh, sliced white or whole wheat bread, or better, some potato rolls on hand so you can make sandwiches later on.
Maybe I'll give a recipe for potato rolls next.