At first glance, that title seems like a contradiction. Gourmet? Meatloaf? For most people, meatloaf conjures up rather negative images. For most of my life, it did for me too. My mother made meatloaf when I was younger, but it was not very good at all. I used to have negative connotations of meatloaf. That all changed with a hike.
I was traveling with some friends throughout the American Southeast. On our travels, we heard of a mountaintop inn only accessible by foot. Naturally, we had to find the location. We parked at base camp and made our way towards the summit. After a short hike, we arrived and were stunned by what we saw. This beautiful old inn sat on top of a mountain peak surrounded by beautiful valleys and lush greenery. Inside, the inn had its dining area in a glass-encased room overlooking the valley.
To accompany the beautiful view was unbelievable food. I was on a bit of a budget at the time, so I ordered something inexpensive that sounded good: a homemade meatloaf sandwich. This meatloaf was unlike any other meatloaf I have ever had. It was succulent, juicy and full of flavor. It might have been the tastiest sandwich I have ever had. This slice of meatloaf tasted better than most steaks. I had discovered the contradiction, gourmet meatloaf.
Ever since that fateful lunch, I have had a whole new view on meatloaf. To discover just how tasty meatloaf can be, give this quick and easy recipe a try. It tastes great as is or on a toasted sandwich.
- 1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce
- 4 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 teaspoon cider or white vinegar
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped medium
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
- 1/2 cup whole milk or plain yogurt
- 2 pound meat loaf mixture (50% ground chuck, 25% ground pork, 25% ground veal
- 2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers or 1 1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
- 8 thin-slices bacon (8-12 slices, depending on loaf shape)
1. Mix ketchup, sugar and vinegar in small saucepan; set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion and garlic; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, and milk or yogurt. Add egg mixture to meat in large bowl along with crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional milk or yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks.)
4. Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined (for easy cleanup) shallow baking pan. Brush with half the glaze, then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only bacon tip ends under loaf.
5. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees F, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes.
6. Simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly. Slice meat loaf and serve with extra glaze pass separately.
For more meatloaf recipes, click here.
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