Meatloaf reminds me of three things.
One: Feeling like all is right in the world when I eat my mom’s homemade meatloaf. It is simple and glorious and has the most perfect hint of sweet to it.
Two: The one time I ordered it at a chain restaurant that shall remain nameless and was sick for a good week.
Three: The scene in A Christmas Story when Randy says something along the lines of “mealoaf, beatloaf, I hate meatloaf”. Which my sister and I say to each other whenever meatloaf is mentioned.
Except I don’t hate meatloaf at all. I think, if done right, it can actually be delicious and doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves. But now that I think of it, maybe it’s the name “meatloaf” that’s a turn-off to some. I mean, it’s not the most attractive sounding dish. Who wants to eat a loaf of meat? I think maybe we should just work on renaming it
As I was perusing The Pioneer Woman the other day I saw a post titled “My Favorite Meatloaf“. I was instantly intrigued and wondered why it was her favorite. As I scrolled down the page I saw bacon draped atop the meatloaf. And then everything made sense. And I smiled. I obviously decided it was necessary to immediately create this loaf o’ meat and invited my brother and my friend Melis over to indulge along with me.
Here’s what you need (Don’t judge):
For the meatloaf:
• 1 cup whole milk
• 6 slices white bread
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1 cup freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 1/3 cup minced parsley
• 4 whole eggs, beaten
• 10 slices thin/regular bacon. Since I’m in the bacon of the month club “regular” bacon no long exists in my house. I used tabasco/brown sugar cured bacon from Big Bad Breakfast in Mississippi. They’re slogan is Lard Have Mercy. That is all that has to be said about that. They’re an automatic favorite.
For the sauce:
• 1 1/2 cups ketchup
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• tabasco sauce to taste
Here’s what you do:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Pour milk over the bread slices and allow it to soak for a handful of minutes.
• Combine the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the beated eggs.
• Wash your hands. Hey, when The Pioneer Woman tells you to do something, you just do it and relay the message
• Form the well-combined mixture into a loaf on a broiler pan since it allows the fat to drain a bit.
• Neatly arrange the slices of bacon over the top, making sure to tuck the pieces under the meatloaf. The slices of bacon I used were insanely long, so I snipped the excess off and arranged it over the ends of the meatloaf.
• Now you’re ready to make your sauce. Add ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and tabasco sauce in a mixing bowl and stir.
• Pour and spread about 1/3 of the sauce over the meatloaf.
• Bake for 45 minutes, until the edges are nice and browned, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce on top of the meatloaf, and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
As I was slicing in preparation to serve it, I realized I may have just created the world’s largest meatloaf. Massive in size but with lots of leftovers. In fact, I gave Melis half of it to take home. Meatloaf sandwiches for all! The meatloaf overall was really delicious. I think it’s a great “working” meatloaf and can easily be adapted to most anyone’s liking. Anything from adding a little minced garlic to mixing in some chopped bacon as well. I might even add some brown sugar into the actual ground beef next time because I missed the sweetness that my mom’s meatloaf is known for.
I served The Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Smashed Potatoes on the side, too. Except I subtracted the bacon, cream cheese, and French fried onions her recipe calls for and used plain Greek yogurt instead. As delicious as all of that sounded I figured since I had just wrapped a loaf of meat in bacon I should at least pretend to be healthy with the potatoes
What is your take on meatloaf? Love, hate, or think it just needs a new name?