Really, Really, Good Meatloaf
Has anyone ever said to you “I make the greatest meatloaf in the world” and then invited you dinner? Well, someone said this to me and since I’m a nice person I will refrain from naming names but, like an elephant I NEVER forget…the year was 1985. I’m fairly sure they never figured out WHY I didn’t go back for dinner ever again but, rest assured the MEATLOAF was the reason. Mashing a large amount of ground beef into a pan with chucks of bread large enough to see and onion soup mix does NOT a meatloaf make nor does smothering it in globs of ketchup or mushroom sauce made from a can of condensed soup. I know it sounds harsh but, when you tell me it’s the BEST meatloaf ever I’m expecting at least edible. Yes…I’m a food snob. Take it or leave it and frankly if I’m the one eating the food it better darn well be up to snuff.
We all remember meatloaf growing up, especially if you were born in the 50’s or 60’s. It was practically a staple along with Spam, Wagon Wheels (cringe) and Mom’s apple pie (right out of the box).
I promise this recipe will not be concocted of Spam, ketchup and sawdust topped off with a nuclear Wagon Wheel gravy. This is just like the name says: REALLY REALLY GOOD MEATLOAF.
Minced meat loaves were cooked as early as the 5th century, and mentioned in the famous Roman cookery collection “Apicius”. American meatloaf has its origins in scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since Colonial times. However, meatloaf in the contemporary sense did not appear in cookbooks until the late 1800’s.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 slices bacon
Turn oven to 350f. Combine all ingredients, except bacon, in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients well. Only mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Do not squeeze or press down the meat or your meatloaf will become dense.
Line a loaf pan with foil and spoon meatloaf mixture onto the pan. Shape into a loaf and cover with bacon slices.
Bake for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Meatloaf should have an internal temperature of 170 degrees.I choose to serve the meatloaf alone with just the bacon on top but…YOU may want to try some fried mushrooms or even ketchup to accompany yours. To each their own.
FOOTNOTE: Meatloaf is not exactly gourmet food but can be a tasty meal accompanied with garlic mashed potatoes and some veggies. It also makes GREAT sandwiches.