Even though it’s been quite hot here this week, I’d been having a hankering for some meatloaf. I haven’t made one in quite a while so I went out and bought the meat and then started looking for a new way to make it. There is nothing wrong with the recipes I’ve used in the past; every once in a while I’d just like to try something different. That’s when I came across this recipe from Tyler Florence. It was listed on the Cooking Channel’s website and it looked pretty interesting so I thought I would give it a try.
Meatloaf with Tomato Relish
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced
2 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 bacon slices
Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for a few minutes to create a base flavor. Add the red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the 2 tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley, ketchup and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes until all the flavors meld. Remove the pan from the heat; you should have about 4 cups of relish.
Place the torn white bread in a bowl and add the milk to just barely cover. Swish the bread around in the milk and allow it to sit while you gather the rest of the ingredients for the meatloaf. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with 1 1/2 cups of the tomato relish, the eggs, and the thyme; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture. Toss the ingredients with your hands and mix together to blend everything well.
Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Transfer the meat mixture to the center of the cookie sheet and format into a log about 9 inches long and 4 inches wide. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another 1/2 cup of the tomato relish. Lay the bacon slices across the top of the meat lengthwise.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is firm. Rotate the meatloaf while it is baking every 25 minutes to ensure that the bacon browns evenly. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side.
I have to say I was a little bit skeptical as to how the meatloaf itself would come out without having a lot of spices in it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The tomato relish adds a really nice flavor to the meatloaf and keeps it very moist. The great thing is that there’s always leftovers with meatloaf that you can use for sandwiches later on. I served this with mashed potatoes and corn and made a a simple beef gravy with 2 cups of beef stock, 1/4 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of butter and some salt and pepper. I poured in some of the drippings from the meatloaf with the butter and flour, whisked it together to make a quick roux and then slowly added the beef stock, whisking the whole time to make a nice gravy. To me, you can’t have meatloaf and mashed potatoes without any gravy. I would definitely make this recipe again.
That’s it for today. Check back again next time to see what recipes come along. I have a few ideas for the coming week but I still need to do my shopping for next week so I’m not quite sure if everything will work out the way I hope. We’ll have to see what kind of ingredients I can get and what we decide to make. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!