meat' and pota'toes
the essential or basic part: Community service is the meat and potatoes of this program.
Pronunciation: (mēt'n-pu-tā'tōz, -tuz), [key]
fundamental; down-to-earth; basic: What are the meat-and-potatoes issues of the election? Also,meat'-and-po•ta'to.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.