I have a soft spot for meatloaf. It’s sort of like a tasty hamburger patty in sliced form. And it’s terrific with rice and ketchup as well. :) Over the years, we have tried several meatloaf recipes, and while many were good, I haven’t found that ONE recipe that becomes the house favorite. This one was say an 8.5/10.0 — tasty and moist, but still with some room for improvement.
The starting point was some veal shoulder I found in the deep freeze. It had been there for 2 months plus, and I figured the best way to use it would be to grind it up. I mixed the veal with an equal portion of ground beef that was roughly 80% lean meat. Then I pretty much followed Ina Garten’s meat loaf recipe here. I added some dried basil and thyme to the mixture as well as some fresh Italian parsley.
Then instead of just lumping the meat onto the pan, I stuck it in a loaf pan and only lightly packed it all down, then inverted the contents out of the pan onto a lined baking sheet. I topped the loaf with some locally made bacon and proceeded with the recipe as written.
Adjust cooking times to reflect the size of your meat loaf and voila, a pretty darned good looking meat loaf that was packed a lot of flavor but still harked back to the most basic of its kind. The meat was still juicy and flavored by the sweetness of onions and tomatoes. The breadcrumbs kept it moist but not overly “bready” that sometimes comes with other recipes with milk-soaked bits of bread. And my only big complaint is the strange tinge of pink/red that comes from the local bacon that leached onto surface of the meat. Why do we have to use SO MUCH FOOD COLORING in everything? And the bacon didn’t even look pinkish to begin with! As for leftovers, cut two slices and either sear them in a pan to heat the meat up, or use cold, and put between two toasted slices of white bread with a lot of ketchup and that is comfort food of the best sort. :)