Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Favorite Meatloaf

Many of the recipes I share on this blog are recipes that changed my opinion about certain foods. They're recipes I love to make for my family and friends and it makes me so happy to be able to share them with you. Today I'm sharing the recipe for my favorite meatloaf. I always thought of meatloaf as just one of those traditional American dishes that you threw together in a bowl, baked in the oven and served with a side of mashed potatoes or mac & cheese. While good, it was always just kind of blah and never anything I looked forward to....until I made this meatloaf.

This recipe starts off with a delicious chunky, homemade tomato sauce that not only goes into the meatloaf but gets slathered on top. Then, thick-cut hardwood smoked bacon is layered over the tomato sauce which bathes the meatloaf in smoky bacon-y goodness as it bakes. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, there's a secret trick! Instead of bread crumbs, I use slices of bread soaked in milk to bring it all together. The milk-soaked bread literally disintegrates into the meat making it super moist.

The next time you have a craving for this all-american comfort food classic, PLEASE try this recipe. It is so delicious you will be happy you did!

My Favorite Meatloaf
Adapted from Food Network
Makes 1 large meatloaf, serves 6 people

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 large onion (or one small onion) finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
3 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 c fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Meatloaf Ingredients:

3 slices white bread, crusts removed and torn into large chunks
1/4 c milk
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 eggs
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4-5 slices of thick cut bacon, cut in half


Make the tomato sauce:

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of extra vigin olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic and bay leaves for a few minutes. Add the diced red bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add the diced tomatoes, then stir in the parsley, ketchup, worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove bay leaves.

Makes about 3 1/2 - 4 cups of sauce.

Assemble the meatloaf:

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Put the bread chunks in a small bowl and pour the milk over the bread. Allow to sit while you assemble the rest of the meatloaf.

In a large bowl, put the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce, thyme and salf & pepper.

Using your hands, gently combine the mixture. Gently squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the bread to the bowl. Using your hands, gently combine the bread into the meat mixture. Note: Like meatballs, you want to handle the meat mixture gently and not overwork it.

Place the meat mixture on top of the foil and shape into a loaf approx 11"x4" (loaf size is up to you but try not to make it too tall).  Spread approx 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce over the top of the meatloaf. Lay the bacon slices on top of tomato sauce in a single layer.

Bake at 350 for 1 hr 15min to 1 hr 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking process to ensure the bacon cooks evenly. The bacon should be crisp and meatloaf should be firm.

Remove from oven and allow to cool approx 15 minutes. Using 2 large spatulas, remove the meatloaf from the baking sheet and place on a cutting board or platter. Using the bacon slices as your guide, slice with a sharp or serrated knife (between the slices of bacon).

Serve with the remaining tomato sauce on the side if desired.

Note: Since the extra tomato sauce may be served on the side, make sure you do not contaminate the sauce with any of the utensils you use on the meat.

Store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.


  1. Love that bacon on top, it looks delicious!!

    1. Thanks Tracy! It is seriously delicious. Hope you try it.

  2. I think this might be my new favorite meatloaf, too - the bacon looks incredible!

    1. Thanks Syndey! The bacon really puts it over the top. I think I need to invest in a bacon company, I use it so much....

  3. Perfect comfort food for these May Gray days in San Diego! Thanks for the recipe! I love new twists on meatloaf.

    1. Thank you! Hope you give it a try! It's so drizzly and gloomy today. Looking forward to sunny days ahead...

  4. Holy heavens I love meatloaf! And with bacon? I die!

  5. Yum! I think your favorite meatloaf could become my favorite as well, thanks for sharing , it looks amazing!