For those of you wondering why I'd risk a coronary for something that reminds many of school lunch mystery meat, you've probably not had a proper meatloaf. A good meatloaf should be firm enough to hold it's shape, yet tender and moist, each bite bursting with flavour. The words watery, greasy, soggy or bland are NOT part of the meatloaf vocabulary. In my version I roll it with roasted peppers, bacon and hard boiled eggs to add little surprises when you cut into the loaf. Think of it like a juicy bacon cheeseburger with an emphasis on the hamburger.
For someone who preaches simple cooking I know the ingredient list is a bit long, but you probably have most of this stuff in your pantry, and if you don't there's a lot of room here to experiment with different flavours. Ginger Hoisin glazed meatloaf with Chinese 5 spice anyone? Unfortunately I've yet to come up with a successful veggie version of this, but if anyone has suggestions leave a comment.
What are your favourite flavours in meatloaf?
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position.
- Add all the ingredients for the meatloaf into a large bowl and use your hand to mix everything together. it should be well combined but not pasty.
- Lay down a few sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface then spread the meat mixture into a 1/2" thick rectangle about as wide as 1 strip of bacon.
- Lay down alternating rows of bacon and peppers (I only had 2 slices of bacon so the photo isn't quite accurate, but you get the idea). Make 3 little divits in the meatloaf then stick the eggs in them.
- Roll enough meat loaf around the eggs to cover them, then gently squeeze the roll to fill in the gaps between the eggs. You should have a solid bar of meat with the eggs slightly peaking out with no air pockets. Finish rolling the loaf making sure there are no air pockets then tidy up the ends. You should have a uniform, slightly oval cylinder of meat.
- Place the meatloaf seam side down on a broiler pan or some other pan that will drain the fat coming out of the meatloaf (this is important). In a pinch you can use a wire rack over a baking sheet covered with foil with slits cut into the foil. Bake for half an hour.
- Mix the ingredients for the glaze then coat the meatloaf with the glaze. Return it to the oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer (inserted between the eggs) reads 160 degrees F.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. I usually cut the loaf down the middle (cutting through the middle of the center egg), then cut two slices from either side of the middle, working my way outwards. Serve with a salad to give the illusion that this is healthier than it actually is.