Meatloaf – along with macaroni and cheese – has to be at or near the top of the list of great American comfort foods. But, too often it can come out dry and bland. I’ve tried many meatloaf recipes over the years and have settled on this one as my favorite. It features a combination of three different meats: veal, pork and beef. However, you could customize your meatloaf by trying other meats like ground chicken or turkey, Italian sausage, etc. When I make meatloaf or meatballs, I always grind my own meat. It’s usually less expensive than buying pre-ground meat and the texture and quality are better.
- 1/2 cup finely minced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1 Tbsp canola, olive or vegetable oil
- 3/4 lb. ground veal
- 3/4 lb. ground pork
- 3/4 lb. ground beef
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, preferably panko
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Bacon slices — about 7 or 8
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the pan and saute for another couple of minutes to soften the garlic. Set the pan aside to cool and turn off the heat.
- Combine the onion-garlic mixture with all of the remaining ingredients except the bacon in a large mixing bowl. Work the meats and other ingredients together using a large spoon, spatula or your hands. The key is to not overwork the mixture; just work until the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Turn the meatloaf mixture out onto a nonstick or lightly oiled baking pan. Form the meatloaf into a large oval shape. Again, don’t over-handle the meatloaf!
- Beginning at one end, wrap the meatloaf with slightly overlapping bacon strips. Tuck the ends of the bacon under the loaf.
- Place the meatloaf into the preheated oven and cook at 350 F. for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaf registers 160 F. on an instant-read thermometer.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes or so before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the loaf. Cut into thick slices and enjoy with a side dish and a green salad.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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