No need for a screw driver and plumber's helper, my family will shove it in all by themselves. My daughter will love that. I think I will keep that statement. She reads my blog now, and I hear "Mommmmmmm" when she thinks I'm embarrassing her. Is it bad that I find joy in that?
Anywho, back to cookin'. My family loves meatloaf, well this meatloaf anyway. In fact they love it so much when I turned around to get my picture ready for the blog, there were only these two, puny, little pieces left. From now on nobody eats till I get my blog shot.
This really is a terrific meatloaf, dare I say the "Perfect Meatloaf" since that is the name of the cookbook I found this recipe in by Pam Anderson. She was the executive editor for Cooks Illustrated at one time. She wrote a cookbook called "The Perfect Recipe." She has some near perfect recipes in her book. If you haven't picked it up you should. Not only is this little gem in there, but a recipe for Prime Rib where you dry age the roast in the frig, turns out "perfect" every time. Her apple pie filling in the cookbook is also my families favorite for apple pie.
With this meatloaf I served another Cooking Light recipe, Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin. The perfect meal to get you ready for bathing suit weather.......that my friends, is sarcasm. Hey, I served it with broccoli, not that the guys touched it. That just left more for us girls.
These potatoes are really rich tasting but you only use 1% milk. I did not follow the recipe completely, do I ever? No, not usually. When I came to the part where you coat the shallots (oh I didn't have shallots so I used a small onion and 2 cloves of garlic since I doubled the recipe) with flour and then add the milk, it turned into a disaster. I can do a roux and add liquid without lumps, but for some reason since there wasn't any fat on the shallots I could not get rid of them. It was so lumpy I had to toss it and do it the easy way with cornstarch as the thickener. Just added half the amount they call for in place of the flour and stirred it into the cold milk. Easy and lump~less..
Since bathing suit weather is upon us here in Florida, I ditched the bacon on the meatloaf. I've made this meatloaf a million times and it's good with or without the bacon. I think I prefer it without the bacon because it's a little more healthy. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have sauteed the onions in a little bacon fat if I was going for healthy??? I don't care...... "bacon, is good for me." ....anyone see that episode of Trading Spouses?
So here they are, my families favorite meatloaf and scalloped potatoes (well the light version anyway), hopefully they will be yours too. ;}
The Perfect Meatloaf (Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze)
Brown Sugar Ketchup Glaze
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider or white vinegar ( I used cider)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I use a smidge less)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black paper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1/2 up milk, buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt
2 pounds meat-loaf mix (2 parts ground chuck, 1 part ground veal, 1 part ground pork)
2/3 cups crushed saltine crackers (about 16) or quick oatmeal or 1 1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced parsley
6 ounces thin-sliced bacon
Glaze: Mix all ingredients and set aside. (Make extra glaze, it’s better than plain ol' ketchup)
Meatloaf: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onions and garlic, saute until softened, about 5 minutes; set aside to cool.
Mix eggs with thyme, salt and pepper, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and milk or yogurt. In a large bowl add egg mixture to the ground chuck, pork, and veal. Next add oatmeal or crackers, which ever you prefer, parsley, cooked onion and garlic; mix with a fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to the bowl. (If mixture does stick, add additional milk, a couple tablespoons at a time and continue stirring (until mixture stops sticking).
Turn the meat mixture onto a work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into a loaf approximately 9x5 inches.
To bake free-form: Cover a wire rack with foil, prick the foil in several places with a fork to allow drainage. Place rack on a shallow roasting pan lined with foil for easy cleanup. Set formed loaf on rack. Brush loaf all over with glaze, then arrange the bacon slices, crosswise, over the loaf. Overlap them slightly and tuck under the loaf to prevent curling. (Free - form is the only way to go!)
Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160F. This will take about an hour. Cool for at least 20 minutes. Slice and Serve.
NOTES : Skip bacon and use this alternative way to cook: Adjust the oven racks to the upper (about 4-inches away from broiler elements) and middle positions and heat the broiler. Transfer the meat mixture to the prepared baking sheet and shape it into a 9- by 5-inch loaf. Broil on the upper rack until well browned, about 5 minutes. Brush 2 tablespoons of glaze over the top and sides of the loaf and then return to the oven and broil for another 2 minutes.
Transfer the meatloaf to the middle rack and brush with the remaining glaze. Change the oven temperature to bake at 350 degrees and bake the meatloaf for 40 to 45 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer the meatloaf to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve, passing the cooked glaze at the table.
Recipe Source: adapted from Pam Anderson "The Perfect Recipe Cookbook"
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Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots ( I subbed in onion and a clove of garlic when I'm out of shallot)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside and keep warm. (Okay, okay, I didn't follow this step either, I salted the water instead.)
Heat a medium saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over shallots. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 9 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt, Asiago, chives, pepper, and bacon.
Arrange half of potato slices in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour half of cheese sauce over potato slices. Top with remaining potato slices and cheese sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
Adapted from Cooking Light