The meatloaf of my youth was rather unremarkable so I recently embarked on a mission to find my favorite recipe. It could not be too fancy or involved and it had to be sturdy enough to make blackened meatloaf sandwiches (a sequel to this post, coming soon).
I had a few requirements:
- Covered with ketchup
- Some kind of cracker crumbs as a filler
- Wrapped with bacon
- No crunchy things in the final product such as celery
Horseradish is a secret ingredient I learned from Miss Helen Corbitt of Neiman Marcus fame. The flavor is not obvious but it makes a subtle difference I am crazy about. If it doesn’t sound good to you, leave it out. Same goes for the chopped parsley which adds freshness and color. I think you’ll like it but if you have “green-haters” at the dinner table, it’s OK to leave it out too.
Of course, you can skip the bacon but it really dresses up the meatloaf. Using commercially pre-cooked bacon is a time and calorie saver I highly recommend.
Cook’s Country magazine recently featured a meatloaf recipe that gave me the idea to use a food processor to process the raw meat along with the crumb mixture. A few pulses create a more homogeneous texture. This ensures the final product doesn’t turn out like hamburger-in-a-pan and will hold together when cooked.
- ¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers (12)
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ cup onions (I prefer frozen for easy digestibility and softness when cooked)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 pound ground pork or turkey
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon prepared cream horseradish
- ¼ cup chili sauce (or ketchup)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
- Ketchup (enough to cover loaves)
- 10 slices pre-cooked bacon
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover small baking rack with aluminum foil and place on foil-covered half-sheet baking pan. Poke a few holes in the foil on the rack to allow excess grease to drain. (Using this method instead of cooking in a loaf pan ensures a crispy crust all over, less grease in the meatloaf, less cooking time and less clean-up because of the foil.
- Place crackers, milk, onions and garlic in bowl of food processor and pulse several times until onions are finely chopped and crackers are completely crumbled. Break up meat and add to food processor. Pulse 10 times, one second each, to combine with crumbs. (Depending on your food processor, you might want to use your hands to rearrange the meat halfway through the mixing process.) Be careful not to overdo it or you could end up with something looking like Spam. Put meat mixture in a large mixing bowl and use hands (gloved, for me) to lightly combine remaining ingredients with meat.
- Mold raw meat into 2 small loaves and place on prepared rack. Cover loaves with ketchup. Loosely lay 5 strips of bacon on each loaf and tuck ends under. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until temperature reaches 160 degrees internally. Let stand out of the oven about 10 minutes before serving.
You might enjoy these with your meatloaf…