Meatloaf is one of those foods you tend to forget is amazingly delicious. I hadn't had meatloaf in years and this weekend, we were out and saw it served at a restaurant. It looked so amazing I had to go home and whip some up the next day. Normally, I make some variation of turkey/chicken meatloaf with quinoa and flaxseed and lots of healthy things. Not today. Today is about tasty comfort.
There are many secrets to amazing meatloaf, I definitely do not know them all. My basic rules are: 1) do not overmix the meat, just lightly combine all the ingredients; 2) bake at 375 max, higher temperatures dry out the meat; 3) do not use a loaf pan, free form meatloaf is crisper and cooks more evenly; and 4) use a variety of veggies and herbs to mix in, not just breadcrumbs. Some people swear by zucchini in their meatloaf, but I like to keep it basic. I do, however, insist on adding some grated parmesan and fresh parsley, which together compliment the meat and elevate the flavors. Also, if you have a meat thermometer, use it to get the cooking time just right.
So... are you hungry yet? Read more to get the full recipe!
1.5lb ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1/4lb bacon, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp ketchup
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Saute garlic, onion, celery and carrot in olive oil on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until soft
3. Add bacon and continue to cook for another 5 minutes
4. Set bacon and vegetable mixture aside and allow to cool
5. In a mixing bowl, combine meat, breadcrumbs, egg, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and bacon veggie mixture
6. Mix until just combined - do not overmix!
7. On a cookie sheet, mold the mixture into a loaf-like shape, keeping it as evenly distributed as possible
8. In a bowl, whisk together ketchup, balsamic and chili powder
9. Spread the mixture on top of the loaf
10. Bake until cooked through, approx 20-30 minutes - or until your meat thermometer registers 160