Do you have a favorite meatloaf recipe? Most people do. I do not. I guess it’s because I can never leave well enough alone. I am always looking for that elusive “best” combination. This recipe comes pretty close to being in that category. It helps that it was first published in Gourmet Magazine, I have found that their recipes are almost always outstanding.
Some say that for a meatloaf to be great it has to have a combination of ground beef, veal and pork. The supermarkets even sell a combination of meats for meatloaf. I have made meatloaf with all ground beef, ground turkey and with various combinations. This meatloaf adds ground pork to the ground beef mixture and it enhances the flavor.
But what sets this recipe apart is the addition of dried cherries and bacon. You can use any dried fruit that you like, but I like the cherries. Three strips of raw bacon and the cherries are ground together in a food processor and added to the meat mixture. It adds a nice sweet and smoky flavor to the meatloaf. The carrots, celery and onions also contribute to the texture.
Give this a try for dinner. If you have a meatloaf that you love and would like to share it, email me with the recipe. My quest is ongoing.
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread)
1/3 cup milk
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries or pitted prunes, chopped
1 1/2 pound ground beef chuck
1/2 pound ground pork (not lean)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low, then cook until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, allspice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Add to bread crumb mixture.
Finely chop bacon and cherries or prunes in a food processor, then add to onion mixture along with beef, pork, eggs, and parsley and mix together with your hands.
Pack mixture together into a loaf and place in a shallow baking dish. Spread ketchup over top and bake for approximately 1 1/4 hours.