This Meatloaf is one step away from a great Pate, high on the list of great comfort foods.
My friend Larry Hui is one of the leaders of a group of volunteers who help out at a homeless shelter in our neighborhood. Finally, after the endless Pandemic hiatus, we’re gearing up to cook for the shelter again. So in his honor, I thought I would bring back this oldie but goodie. When I cook for the shelter, we often serve this meatloaf. It hits home with the men (and they are all men) and it’s a particular favorite of Larry’s so I am happy to share it here. Although the picture quality leaves much to be desired, this meatloaf does not.
This recipe is a hearty and rich loaf — best served with mashed potatoes and buttered green beans.
The secret to a really great meatloaf is to keep it moist and not overwork the mixing of the ingredients. Choose a bread that adds more than just bulk to your meatloaf and contributes to its texture. In the case of this meatloaf, I use fresh challah or brioche rolls. Since both of these contain eggs, my theory is that they not only add volume to the meatloaf, but they also help bind it. And they are both lovely light bread. I always use fresh because I don’t want the bread to be sopping up the moisture, I want it to contribute to it.
The other secret of this recipe is…the bacon.
Michael Pollan, the author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”, noted this long ago in the New York Times Magazine. Contestants on numerous Food contests on TV can almost guarantee a win by adding bacon to virtually anything they make. I’m a huge bacon fan. In fact, when I make this recipe for the Shelter, I cover the top of each loaf with strips of bacon so that every piece gets one. The photographed version here is less heavy-handed but there’s bacon in every bite. Here’s the recipe and after it even more ways to make meatloaf.
A hearty and rich meatloaf, topped with bacon and best served with buttery mashed potatoes and buttered green beans.
- 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef (80 percent lean)
- 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 large or 6 small cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2/3 cup of ketchup, divided into 1/3 cup portions
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lb of bacon, 2 strips halved crosswise, the rest coarsely chopped.
- 2 Challah or Brioche rolls, torn into pieces
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 2 In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process onion, and garlic until onion is finely chopped. Transfer the onion and garlic mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef, 1/3 cup of ketchup, the eggs, salt, and pepper.
- Step 3 Put the chopped bacon and the bread into the processor and use the pulse feature several times until the bread is coarsely chopped. Do not over-process. Add the mixture to the bowl. Add the parsley. Gently mix all ingredients. Do not overmix.
- Step 4 Put the mixture into a 9X5X3 inch metal loaf pan. Arrange the bacon slices in a crosswise pattern atop the meat mixture. Spoon the remaining 1/3 cup of ketchup in the spaces between the bacon slices.
- Step 5 Bake meatloaf until the meat comes away from the sides of the pan, about an hour. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slide a spatula under one end of the meatloaf and then tilting the pan, slide the loaf out onto a serving platter. Slice and serve.
- Step 6 For more than four servings, you need multiple 9X5X3 inch pans.
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