This is one of my more favorite childhood memories of my Dad, and funny enough, it involves meatloaf. I think I was around 7 or 8, and my brother was probably 4. Dad was left to his own devices when it came time to cook the 3 of us dinner one night. He decided on meatloaf, which seemed an easy crowd pleaser.How hard could it be to throw some ground beef in a bread pan and bake it? But with 2 distracting, rambunctious kids in feety pajamas bouncing off the walls of our tiny kitchen, the meatloaf became more of a “work in progress” than he had bargained for.
Into the pan went the lump of meat and other ingredients he had combined and shaped into a loaf. Satisfied that he had accomplished the feat of dinner, the meatloaf went into the oven. I don’t exactly know what kick-started his memory of the meatloaf recipe after the fact, but I DO remember him suddenly exclaiming “The eggs!” as he leaped off the couch, and out came the meatloaf. It went on like this for several more attempts. “The ketchup!” “The cheese!” And each time the exclamation was followed by the meatloaf coming out of the oven, being remixed and put BACK into the oven. It was fun. And funny. And the meatloaf was pretty good, Dad. The memory, that much better.
I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve made meatloaf in my adult life. Ben made a request for it this weekend, and with winter well underway here on Mount Desert Island, it sounded like the perfect comfort food for a snowy evening. When I say this is the best meatloaf I have ever had…Heck, when BEN says it, we know we’re on to something. Juicy, savory, bacony, speechless.Little did we know how amazing and versatile my meatloaf recipe was going to be. We squeezed a meat and potatoes dinner, 2 sandwiches, and a pasta dinner out of one loaf.
The Meatloaf of Love
1lb of Ground Turkey
1 lb of Ground Beef (90% lean)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup Ketchup
1 tbsp Italian herb mix*
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 strips of bacon, cut in half
* I got this herb mix from Rossi Pasta, in one of their gift baskets. it’s basically a smidgen of all of the following – enough to make a tablespoon: Basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, and thyme. Dried or fresh – it’s up to you.
1. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry until combined.
2. Knead in the meats until blended. Over kneading, however will produce a chewy result.
3. Shape into a prepared loaf pan and put strips of bacon over the top
4. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 170 (remember you are cooking turkey which needs a higher temp to be safe.)
5. Remove from the oven and drain off excess fat. Serve with mashed potatoes and smothered in gravy.
6. Fall in love. Eat too much.
Other Fab meals from this recipe:
1. Grill a slab of meatloaf in a dab of olive oil, on both sides. Place between two slices of bread slathered with ketchup and mayo, and grill on both sides. Fall in love.
2. Grill a slab of meatloaf in a dab of olive oil, on both sides. Place atop a pile of linguine and cover with red sauce and Parmesan cheese.
Fall in love.
Feel the Love,