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SEASONED TO TASTE

Seasoned to Taste: The ultimate meatloaf for a carnivore

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Lynne Ireland

“What a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours” my paramour sometimes croons. These days, seems like things change overnight. And unlike the song Dinah Washington popularized in 1959, the differences nowadays often aren’t rapturous. So not surprisingly, many of us are looking back to “the good old days.” Plenty of challenges then, too. But perhaps consolation was easier, back when, in the simple and then-safe company of friends.

Hankering for “back when” shows up on social media in 2022 with a return of the “10-year challenge” that first made the rounds in 2018. Some say the then-and-now images people are posting are part of an evil meta plan to gather improved face recognition data. Others think it’s harmless fun.

Either way, it prompted us to look back at recipes we were savoring a decade ago. And wonder why they’ve gone out of our rotation. Like Matt’s meatloaf.

A decade ago our friend Matt invited us for a January dinner of "peasant food." The Oxford Dictionary of Food notes that it is "a dish whose visibility is considerably higher in real life, especially in North America and Britain, than in cookery books." The editors wonder if we called it "pâté chaude de viande hachée" it would have higher status.

But no matter what you call it, Matt's variation of meatloaf is simply scrumptious. A celebration for the carnivore, this recipe blends three kinds of ground meat. And just to ensure ultimate satisfaction, the individual meatloaves are topped with crispy bacon. And then there's the neat trick of running the baked meatloaves under the broiler just before serving to ensure the tomatoey topping is caramelized.

This likely ain't your grandma's meatloaf. And it's likely not the least caloric entrée you ever ate. But maybe it’s a 10-year challenge worth taking!

Individual Meatloaves Topped with Crisp Bacon

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, finely chopped (1/3-½ cup)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1½-2 cups fresh baguette crumbs (remove crusts)

¾ cup whole milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3+ tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Frank's Hot Sauce (or Tabasco sauce)

Pinch or two of salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ pound each of ground beef chuck, ground pork, and ground veal

¼ cup ketchup

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Several crisped bacon slices, cut into pieces to top finished meatloaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in middle position. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and softened. Allow to cool. Stir together baguette crumbs, milk, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gently combine veal, pork and chuck, then add to baguette crumb mixture along with onion mixture and gently knead with your hands until just combined. (Mixture will be moist. Wipe out skillet and set aside.)

Using a 1 cup measure, drop slightly rounded cups of mixture into baking pan and lightly pat to form 4 individual mounds. Stir together ketchup and vinegar and spoon over mounds. Bake meatloaves until center of each loaf registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 25-30 minutes. While meatloaves bake, cook bacon in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Turn on broiler and broil meatloaves 2 to 3 inches from heat until glaze is slightly caramelized. Serve meatloaves topped with bacon. Pass additional ketchup-vinegar mixture. Good served with roasted or mashed potatoes and steamed peas or roasted green vegetables, such as broccoli or green beans.

Source: Freely adapted by Matt from Epicurious

Lynne Ireland lives to eat and welcomes comments and questions from others who do (or don’t). Contact her at citydesk@journalstar.com

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