I must say that meatloaf is not particularly photogenic. It is grayish brown and lumpy, and altogether a rather unattractive meal. Who ever thought to put ground meat into a loaf, anyway? Perhaps it was the Italians, already forming ground meats into little seasoned balls of goodness. But there is something cute about a meatball; it's grown-up cousin named meatloaf...not so much.
When I was a kid, I hated when my mom made meatloaf. But over the years I have grown to appreciate it, both for it's flavor and its all-American heartland nostalgia. Unfortunately, my children also hate it, so they will go to bed hungry...again. But the good news is that we have enough leftovers so that we may enjoy another classic treat for lunch tomorrow, the meatloaf sandwich.
This recipe is an amalgamation of both my mom's recipe and Martha Stewart's. I thought it could have been a bit moister, but I used very lean ground beef, which probably contributed to its dryness. Otherwise, it is deliciously flavored with ground onions, carrots, celery and garlic and topped off with a sweet glaze of ketchup, Dijon mustard and brown sugar.
3 slices of white bread, crusts removed
1 large carrot, chopped into one inch slices
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1/2 C loosely packed parsley leaves
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
2 eggs, beaten
2 t dry mustard
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t Tabasco
1/2 C ketchup
Stir together 1/3 C ketchup, 1 T Dijon mustard, 2 T brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse bread crumbs in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with its steel blade until finely ground. Remove to a large bowl. Pulse the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, and parsley in the food processor until finely chopped. Dump in the same bowl as the bread crumbs, add meats, eggs, and rest of the ingredients. Knead together with your hands for about 1 minute, until well mixed. But do not over mix, or meatloaf might be too dense. Place meat in a regular sized loaf pan and pour over the glaze. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour or until internal temperature is 160 degrees.