Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Meatloaf Just Like Mama's

When I was growing up, I just didn't appreciate mama's meat loaf: moist and flavourful, truly a work of culinary art.  When I had a young family of my own, I tried making my first meat loaf.  It was an eye opener!  Hard as a hockey puck- just a pitiful failure.  I finally found the recipe, and the secret,  for mama's meat loaf and it is moist and flavourful.  Hallelujah!

To serve 6 to 8.

Glaze (if you want lots of sauce to serve on the side, double the glaze ingredients)
1/2    cup ketchup
4       tbsp brown sugar
4       tsp cider vinegar

Meat Loaf
vegetable oil
1       onion, chopped
2       garlic cloves, minced
2       large eggs
1/2    tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2       tsp Dijon mustard
2       tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4    tsp hot sauce
1/2    cup whole milk or yogourt
1       lb ground beef
1       lb ground pork (or 1/2 lb ground pork and 1/2 lb ground veal)
2/3    cup fresh bread crumbs
1/3    cup fresh parsley, finely minced
8 - 12 slices of bacon

For the glaze- mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan.

For the meat loaf- heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a medium pan.  Add onion and garlic, sautè until the onions are softened and the garlic is fragrant, about five minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs,  thyme, one teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, milk or yogourt.  Add this mixture to the meat, bread crumbs, parsley and cooked onions and garlic.  Mix with a fork until well blended.

Meat loaf in the oven

On a work surface, with wet hands, pat the mixture into a 9 x 5 inch loaf shape.  Place it on a foil covered baking sheet.  Brush the loaf with half the glaze, arrange bacon slices crosswise over the loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking the ends under the loaf.

Bake until the bacon is crisp and the internal temperature of the loaf registers 160 degrees, about one hour.  Cool at least 20 minutes.  Simmer the remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly.  Slice the meat and serve the extra glaze separately.

You could omit the bacon and glaze the meat loaf a second time, during the second half of the cooking time.

Mini meat loaves- divide the meat mixture into eight and shape into mini loaves.  Adjust the cooking time accordingly.  Test for doneness after about 30 minutes.

Leftovers make great sandwiches- heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan.  Place a slice of meat loaf in the pan and brown lightly on both sides.  When heated through, place in your favourite bun, add all the fixings- lettuce, tomato, fried or caramelized onions, etc. and enjoy!

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Taking it home!  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and vegetables.    One family feast!

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