It is not unusual for people to hear someone referred to as being a “meat and potatoes” type of person. In most cases, this designation is meant to describe certain character traits possessed by the individual under consideration, and it may be used as a compliment or an insult, depending on how the individual perceives these particular traits. The term normally refers to something that is a fundamental or basic component in some type of environment or setting. Considered to be essential, meat and potatoes lays a solid foundation that can be built upon or enhanced in some manner. The wide use of this term has its basis in the basic all American meal.
Since meat and potatoes represent a hearty dish that forms the nucleus of a nutritional meal, liking them is often identified with being solid, reliable, and dependable in times of adversity. Simplistic in their approach to life and free of pretensions, these people are usually considered honest and very unlikely to play games with other peoples emotions or time.
A true meat and potato meal is much the same. Offering a basic presentation and an all American meal that is filling and nutritious, a serving of meat and helps to meet the immediate need and tends to pave the way for other things to come. Generally, the basic meal will provide energy for the remainder of the day as well as satisfying the individual’s need for food.
There are a number of meat and potatoes recipes used widely in the United States and around the world. Some are as simple as broiling or baking some type of red meat or pork and serving it with mashed or fried potatoes. Other meals include variations on the so-called Hobo dinner, which is a baked dish that is created by slicing potatoes, placing them in an oblong casserole dish, and topping them with hamburger patties. The assembled Hobo dinner is placed into the oven and allowed to cook until the potatoes are tender and the meat is cooked to order.
Like the actual food, anyone who enjoys meat and potatoes and considers this combination to be the foundation for the perfect lunch or dinner is likely to be perceived as being straightforward and honest. While relatively simple on the surface, they provide much of the essentials of living, whether the reference is to the food or to someone who consumes them on a regular basis.