meat and potatoes n.
(US) the essence, the basics, the ‘brass tacks’; thus meat-and-potato adj., basic, essential.
|Early Havoc 56: The place teemed with excitement. This was meat and potatoes. A nice lively cockfight.|
|Maclean’s (Toronto) July 65: Textbooks remain the meat and potatoes of publishing in Canada.|
|Dear ‘Herm’ 17: I mean real meat-and-potatoe stuff.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 122: Tryone said lots of things, but let’s get to meat and potatoes.|