BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK
I love meatloaf. I didn’t realize for many years that it should be more than shaping a pound of ground meat into a loaf and cooking it for an hour with a little bacon and catsup on top.
Praise the cooking gods that I know better now.
This easy recipe makes two large or four small loaves. It’s great for company and, especially, for leftovers to reheat or make meatloaf sandwiches, a family favorite.
- 2 large mixing bowls,
- cereal bowl
- chopping board and knife
- measuring equipment
- baking sheet
- large rectangular casserole dish
- large wire rack (about size of your baking sheet)
- parchment paper
- meat thermometer
- small paint brush
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon each of paprika and cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dried parsley
- 1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground buffalo meat (or extra-lean beef)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 pounds ground round of beef or sirloin
- 3-4 bacon slices
- 1/2 cup catsup
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Dash hot pepper sauce
LET’S GET STARTED
In large mixing bowl, add chopped onions, eggs, spices, bread crumbs and parsley. Combine well. Set aside.
In second mixing bowl, combine all the meats, except the bacon. I use my hands, although it’s messy.
Add mixed meats onto bread crumb mixture. Combine well. I use my hands, kind of “folding” small areas into the larger mix, a little bit like kneading bread until I can see that the bread crumb mixture is fairly evenly incorporated into the meat.
Shape the meat into a round ball.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
Place baking dish onto baking sheet. Place a wire rack over the baking dish. Pour about an inch of tap water into the baking dish. This helps keep your loaves moist, but it also makes clean-up much easier. If you notice the water evaporating, just pour in more.
Roll out enough parchment paper to cover surface of the rack, although you’re not going to cover it. With your scissors, cut the paper into 2-4 small rectangles onto which you will place your loaves. Leave space between the loaves so any grease can drip into the baking dish.
Take your chopping knife and and cut your meatball in half, then half the halves. These will be your loaves. If you want 2 large loaves, stop at the first half-cut.
Lightly wet your hands and shape your loaves on the chopping board. With a strong spatula, lift each onto its parchment paper atop the wire rack. Top each loaf with a couple of slices of bacon.
Insert your meat thermometer probe halfway into one of your loaves.
Place the baking sheet/meat loaves into the center of oven. Be careful not to let your rack slide off the casserole. Now, mix your glaze in the cereal bowl.
When the loaves have cooked to about 120 internal degrees, spread your catsup topping on each with the paint brush.
Return to the oven and bake until meat temperature reaches 155 degrees.
Carefully remove from the oven. (You don’t want your wire rack sliding off the casserole with your loaves.) Don’t remove your meat thermometer yet. Otherwise, that delicious internal juice will leak out. Let cool 10-15 minutes on the stovetop so that the meatloaf juices will spread around inside. If you cut it too early, all the juice will run out.
Serve atop a mound of creamy smashed potatoes seasoned with buttermilk and sour cream, with a little sliced green onions for garnish. Of course, an other delicious side dish will do or nothing at all. Enjoy!
(BTW – If you just want to cook two small loaves, put the other two into the freezer for another day. When you’re ready, thaw them and you’re back in business for a feast or a very easy mid-week dinner.)
Come back to NewinNOLA.com every week for “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous recipes from Patsy:
Meatloaf is one of the easiest things to make, I think.
I must not have your skills. It took me several tries to get one that was cooked all the way through and wasn’t dry.
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