I’ve tried lots of meatloaf recipes over the years, some with good success and results and others that I would not be so likely to try again. every time I come across a new meatloaf recipe I always check it out to see if it is worth giving a try. Here on my blog, the meatloaf recipes I have posted before are among the most visited on my site, so I am obviously not alone in my love for meatloaf. That is why when I cam across Pat La Frieda’s recipe for a four-meat meatloaf recipe I was more than a little intrigued. Pat LaFrieda is a well-known chef, known particularly for his work with beef and has some great food places all around and even does the hamburgers and offerings available at Citi Field where my beloved Mets play (Michelle swears by his cheesesteak sandwich and the meatball sliders offered by him at Citi Field). All of that was more than enough to get me to try the recipe out, though I did some tweaking of it on my own. his recipe puts mozzarella and Pecorino-Romano cheese in it. Personally, I don’t like cheese in my meatloaf so I left it out myself, but I will include them as optional in the recipe listed here if you want to make use of them yourself.
Pat LaFrieda’s Four-Meat Meatloaf
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces), optional
1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground veal
1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs (store-bought is fine)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 cup tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until the oil slides easily in the pan, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender and light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside to cool the onions to room temperature.
If you are using the mozzarella and Pecorino-Romano cheese, combine them in a medium bowl with the parsley. If you are not using the cheese separate out the parsley into 4 even piles.
Put each meat – the beef, pork, lamb and veal – in a separate bowl. To each bowl add 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, a pile of the parsley and 1 egg. Divide the cooled onion mixture evenly among the bowls. Add 1 teaspoon of the paprika each to the bowl with the beef and with the lamb. Use your hands to gently combine each meat with its ingredients, working it just enough to combine everything.
Put the beef into a loaf pan and pat it down with a rubber spatula to create a flat, even surface. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese mixture, if using, over the beef. Put the pork on top of the beef. Smooth it out the same way you did with the beef layer and top it with another 1/3 of the cheese mixture, if using. Repeat the process again with the lamb, topping it off with the remaining cheese mixture, if using, and finish with a layer of the veal. Put the loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake the meat loaf for 1 hour. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spoon the tomato sauce over the top, spreading it over the surface of the meatloaf. Return the meatloaf to the oven and bake it until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Take the meatloaf out of the oven. Hold the pan while wearing oven mitts and gently tilt the pan to drain off the excess fat from the pan. Let the meatloaf rest in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Slice the meatloaf in the pan and serve the meatloaf on a platter.
This recipe does take a bit of prep work and a little bit longer to cook than traditional meatloaf recipes, but it is denser because of all of the meat. The flavors from the meatloaf are fantastic and I loved adding lamb into the mix to get that extra layer of flavor. If you do use the cheese I am sure you get a really nice looking layered effect when you slice the meat, so if that is what you want and you like the cheese in there, go for it. I really enjoyed it without the cheese myself and it makes a pretty good-sized meatloaf so you can feed four or six people easily with this one.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!