Remember that meatloaf post I promised? Here it is! First, though, let me share the backstory. Growing up, my mom cooked quite a few dishes on the regular. So much so that she’d get bored and start to experiment. Sometimes the experiments were a great success, but there was always ONE thing she could NEVER make. “What’s that?” you ask. MEATLOAF. No matter how many times she tried, she could never make a tasty meatloaf. I would estimate that she’s made meatloaf a hundred different ways: turkey, ground beef, brown gravy, barbecue sauce, ketchup, cheese…still no bueno. She made meatloaf horribly so many times that we wouldn’t eat it after a while. Eventually, she gave up. (Thank goodness!)
Well me being who I am, I refused to be a meatloaf statistic. Over the years, I’ve played with all kinds of ways to make it until I came up with the perfect way to make a tasty meatloaf. I’ll preface this by saying that if you don’t like pork, my recipe isn’t for you. Many people do the whole “No pork on my fork” thing. That’s cool. You can do turkey, but WARNING: turkey dries out fast! Anyways, back to this glorious meatloaf!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. For my meatloaf, I use ground beef (preferably grass-fed), ground pork, and the tastiest secret ingredient ever: BACON. We all know that bacon is good on ERRTHANG, so fry it up, drain it, crumble it, and add it to the meatloaf mix. Toast some breadcrumbs in a pan, and add it to the mixture once it cools. If you like veggies, brown them in the bacon fat and add them to the mix once they cool. I like to use onion, red pepper, green pepper, celery, and garlic. Add your seasonings, two beaten eggs, Worchestershire sauce, grated parmesan cheese, and mix. The seasonings I use are:
- Adobo seasoning with black pepper
- Black pepper
- Fine sea salt
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Fresh basil
After you mix it all together, place it on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (or until done).
Now while the meatloaf is baking, it’s time to make the BEST SAUCE EVER! Like literally THE BEST. Not only can you use it on meatloaf, but you could use it in a host of other dishes: chicken parmigiana, shrimp fra diavolo, and any pasta dish you can imagine. To top this beautiful meatloaf, I made a roasted red pepper and tomato sauce. You can definitely skip a few steps and buy canned tomato paste, roasted red peppers, and crushed tomatoes. This time, I did because, otherwise, the sauce would take a full day to make and…who has time for that?
Start by heating about 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a sauce pot (2 turns of the pot). To the pot, add the tomato paste (smallest can you can find) and let it simmer until it turned brick red. While that’s going, puree some roasted red peppers in a blender or food processor and add them to the tomato paste. In goes the crushed tomatoes and a cup of chicken stock. As that comes to a boil, add a few shakes of red wine vinegar and about a cup of grated parmesan cheese. Then, add the seasonings. I used the same ones above, but added rosemary and thyme, and swapped out the cayenne for crushed red pepper flakes. Throw in a few bay leaves and simmer on low for the entire time your meatloaf is baking. In the end, your sauce should look like this:
With me being a food snob, I always wait a day or two before I eat a sauce I made. If your granny never told you, sauces should sit, so that they can soak up the seasonings. If you want to wait, but want to eat your meatloaf the same day, I suggest making your sauce ahead of time. After my waiting period, I heated up my meatloaf, drizzled it with delicious sauce, and topped it with shredded parmesan cheese. Take a break from brown gravy or barbecue sauce, and bathe your meatloaf in this instead. It’ll be one of your family’s favorite ways to eat meatloaf. Thanks for the inspiration, Mom!