Making Sense of Meatloaf

For two weeks now I have been fighting the worst cold that has led to a sinus infection causing my most coveted senses, taste and smell, to go dormant. During this time my father came back from the sunny Florida Keys to begin the electrical work on our upcoming home Sheridan Green. How nice of him considering we have been hit with some nasty weather on the East End of Long Island, not to mention a daughter who has been producing enough mucous to be used as mortar for our fireplace construction. When cooking, I have been trudging along relying on my husband Chris and my sixth sense to guide the way. Thankfully, I made a few meals previous to my fathers visit before becoming sick; freezing pasta e fagioli, tomato soup, ricotta gnocchi and French onion soup.

I took on the challenge of making one of my father's favorite meals, meatloaf. It was the least I could do since he flew back from paradise to the cold and his mucous producing daughter. How was I going to make sense of this Cook’s Country inspired recipe? My senses were shot. I began cooking dinner before Chris and my father returned home from working on our house. Upon their arrival my father said, “Whatever you are making smells absolutely delicious.” Imagine a foodie like me making a meatloaf of beef and pork, wrapping it in bacon and not being able to taste or smell it. As my father took a bite of the meatloaf, he closed his eyes [my father always closes his eyes when critiquing food] he said, “Not bad. I'm not fond of the bbq glaze, and maybe would have added some carrots to it, but pretty good for someone who cannot taste or smell.” He seemed happy and I was simply miserable. I knew the texture was right on, and had no idea what it tasted like. 

I have been fantasizing about walking into a bakery, smelling fresh pastry and warm loaves of bread coming out of the oven. As soon as I get better I will be running to The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe in Riverhead to take a deep breath and a long taste. In the meantime, I hope you can make sense of this meatloaf recipe.

Meatloaf wrapped in bacon

Directions

  1. Mix the glaze ingredients; set aside. 
  2. Heat oven to 350°. In a medium skillet heat the olive oil then  add the onion and garlic. and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce,  and hot pepper sauce.
  4. Crush the Saltines and puree with the milk.
  5. Add the egg and saltine mixture to the meat in large bowl with the parsley, and cooked onion and garlic. Mix with a fork until evenly blended. Do not over mix the meat fold it gently.
  6. Turn meat mixture onto a baking sheet and shape into a loaf approximately 8-by-4.
  7. Brush with the glaze, then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking bacon tip ends under loaf.
  8. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160°, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 85% ground beef chuck 
  • 1 pound ground pork 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup Saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves 
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil 

    for glaze
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • Note: You can replace the Saltine crackers with stale bread and eliminate the glaze if you desire.