Blue Plate Special!

By Published On: June 5th, 2013Categories: Meat0 Comments on Blue Plate Special!

Recently cousin Joe and his wife Kathe joined us for dinner. Kathe wanted to Cook With Cindy and together we made a spectacular, but very humble meal.


The term Blue Plate Special has been around since the late 1800’s, but gained popularity during the Depression through the 1950’s at restaurants, especially diners, around the country including Shoney’s! The term is used for a large portion of very inexpensive, hearty food that was served in a 3-section disposable Blue Plate. My husband bought me this plate especially for our dinner with Joe and Kathe.

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
3 lbs. ground chuck (I used 2 lbs. of regular fatty and 1 lb. of lean)
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I also added about 1/2 cup Panko crumbs as it seemed too loose.)
3+ Tbsp. Homemade ketchup

Heat oil in a medium saute pan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ground chuck, tomato sauce, egg, bread crumbs, half the onion and garlic mixture, and salt/pepper to taste (Yes, I do taste raw beef and as some of you know steak tartare is one of my favorites!), in a large bowl. Stir with your hands just enough to mix. Do not over-mix.
Place the meat in a 3″x11″ loaf pan (I did not have that size so used a regular bread pan and had enough to also fill a mini bread pan.) and mound the top with your hands to form a crown.

Kathe is about to pop that loaf in the oven!

Top with remaining onion-garlic mixture and drizzle with ketchup. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes for easier slicing.


I have never made ketchup before, but now cannot imagine buying it. So easy, so good, and so much less sugar! This recipe makes about 3 cups and lasts in the fridge for up to a month.

1 28-oz. can tomato puree
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 jalapeno, seeded (I did not have a fresh jalapeno so used about 1/4 tsp. dried hot pepper.)
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Pinch of cayenne; celery salt; dry mustard; ground allspice; ground cloves; ground ginger; and ground cinnamon
Salt/Pepper to taste

Combine tomato puree, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and sugar in a blender or food processor. Pulse until blended, then add vinegar and 1 cup water and puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add all other ingredients.

Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. You will never buy Heinz again!

For dessert we had old-fashioned New England grapenut pudding served warm with whipped cream.

Two of my most loyal blog followers have suggested I might make my blogs a little shorter. We are all so busy that I agreed with them completely so this is the first of a shorter version of Cook with Cindy. Next time I will give you the recipe for grapenut pudding.

I love cooking with friends and family and look forward to many more delightful experiences in the kitchen.
Until next time, enjoy your time in the kitchen.


These knives belonged to my husband’s grandfather who was a chef in Falmouth, MA on the Cape.
Big, sharp knives are very empowering!


Discover more from Cook with Cindy - Food, Fun, and More!

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Leave A Comment

Discover more from Cook with Cindy - Food, Fun, and More!

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.