Meatloaf has a love/hate relationship with many. I find to many haytas and I know Haytas gotta hate but I’m going to try and change that. Those same types generally love burgers and meatballs so, really, it’s not much of a stretch to jump to meatloafing from there. Want to try this recipe out? Good..and while I’m at it..this is not MY only meatloaf recipe. Meatloaf is a “stretch” recipe..it allows the cook to use bits and pieces of what’s ever leftover or some less expensive ground meat (not so less expensive anymore) and stretch it into a filling tasty (TASTY I SAID!) meal. Now the meatloaves I’ve not been to happy with simply are missing lots of ingredients. For some reason this dish benefits from the use of many different condiments, vegetables and meats along with spices and aromatics to bring it to the table. As with much of my cooking it’s past experience from where I start my constructing my own version and this has it’s roots in my Mom’s meatloaf of this type. She made a few different ones, even the Polpettone (the Italian meatloaf) but this was her typical “American” one. Ketchup, Mustard, Bacon, Onions, Worchestershire Sauce. They turned it into something special. Lots of Shredded cheddar and pecorino too. Ok, Pecorino, NOT at all American, but work with me here, it becomes a flavor carrier. That’s what you need. Too many meatloaves are 3 or 4 ingredient ones with nothing to remember each bite by. I need memorable. I need flavors that intensify so the next day I can make a cold Meatloaf sandwich with or without Ketchup or BBQ Sauce. Up to you. Bacon is integral to this on the inside and the outside. Like Meatloaf’s refined French cousin, the Terrine, larding with bacon (wrapping it) is beneficial in terms of moisture and flavor. And who doesn’t like bacon???? OK, I know some of you don’t, you’ll just have to sit this one out.
SERVES: 6 TIME: 1 .75 hours
1 1/2 mixed ground BEEF, PORK, VEAL (or if you prefer just Beef, use Chuck or up to 85% lean ground beef. Anything leaner the loaf is dry.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 beaten eggs
1/8 cup rolled oats
3 torn slices of bread, white or whole wheat, soaked in a little milk, then gently squeeze the milk out
1 1/2 tbs. Worchestershire Sauce
1/8 cup Ketchup
2 tbs. Mustard, truthfully, I like Yellow for this, feel free to use Brown, Dijon is not the right family for this relative. Yes, it’s mustard and I love it, but not in this particular meatloaf.
1 tsp. Sriracha or Tabasco
2 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 fine diced onion, SAUTEED till soft with 4 chopped strips of Bacon (smoked USA style). When the onions and bacon are done, takes about 15 minutes, remove from the flame and let rest for 10 minutes.
2 tsps. grated Pecorino Romano
1/8 cup shredded SHARP Yellow Cheddar cheese
6 additional strips of raw bacon
a glaze made out of 1/3 cup Ketchup, 2 tbs. mustard, 1 tbs. Maple Syrup (the real stuff, not Log Cabin)
1 tsp. Sriracha or Hot Sauce
Mix all the ingredients into a bowl except the bacon strips and glaze. Blend Well. Lightly grease a loaf pan and press the mix into the loaf. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the loaf pan on a sturdy baking sheet. Coat the top with a layer of the glaze. Top that with the bacon strips. Bake for at least 45 minutes. Insert a knife blade into the center, if it comes out clean you are done, if not, cook an additional 10-15 minutes. LET THE MEATLOAF REST FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES AFTER IT’S COME OUT OF THE OVEN. Then slice and serve with some of that glaze over the top. TRY IT YOU’LL LIKE IT!! only you will not need any Alka Seltzer after eating this. Notice not much salt in the recipe..well there is, in the ketchup, Worchestershire, Mustard, cheese. So do not over salt this.