When I was a kid, my mom went through a prolific period or making meatloaf. I swear, for about two weeks straight she made meat loaf every night or every other night (on the off nights we were probably eating meatloaf leftovers) experimenting with different meats (liver?! could she have used liver??!) and meat ratios as well as sampling various starch components – the binding agents which give meatloaf it’s loafy texture. I distinctly remember an oatmeal infused meatloaf that had the consistency of wet cardboard and a correspondingly pulpy flavor. Don’t get me wrong, my mom was and still is one of the best cooks I know, but this particular meatloaf phase does not in my opinion rate high on her list of culinary achievements. But then again, there was something appealing and comforting about those meatloaves. Perhaps it was the fact that my mom was making something so down home traditionally American and yet putting her own improvisatory flair on it. I was always curious to know how it would turn out and if it would be good. At the very least it would be interesting, if not necessarily palatable. So, in that spirit, I present to you, my version of meatloaf.
As usual amounts are approximations. If I learned anything from my mom, it’s that meatloaf is one of those dishes that’s pretty flexible when it comes to what ingredients you use and how much.
3/4 lb of ground beef
1/2 lb of ground turkey
2 Italian sausages (about 1/4 – 1/3 lb)
2-3 slices of bacon
1 medium sized onion
4 cloves of garlic
4 stalks of celery
1/4 cup fresh parsely – chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp of sea salt
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 – 3/4 cup of bread crumbs
Preparation. Put your meat in a large mixing bowl (make sure you’ve removed the sausage casing off the sausage). Finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery and add them to the meat. I used a food processer for the first three ingredients and hand chop the celery. Mix the meat and and vegetables thoroughly (using your hands is the most efficient as well as enjoyable). Now add your seasonings and your binding agents and then mix again. Put the meat mixture into a loaf pan and shape into a nice loaf. Place the slices of bacon on the top. Bake the loaf for 50 minutes to an hour at 375 to 400 degrees. Et voilá: meatloaf!
Watch the video below to witness the art of preparing and cooking the meatloaf.