Mom’s Meatloaf is my favourite home meal so thought I would compare hers to this!
My mom, Helen, is an incredible cook and baker. My regular readers know this. I am consistently working to record her making our family favourites to preserve them and the cultural heritage of our community in the Central Alberta area where we both grew up. Her meatloaf is my very favourite home cooked meal at my mother’s hand. It is a scrumptious family celebration. We all love it. Oddly, I have not yet posted it. That has to change. And, even odder, I decided to serve her famous meatloaf with this Classic on an evening when neither was big enough for the guests I could see would be joining us for our evening meal.
It would have never crossed my mind to compare her meatloaf along side another at a Tasting. For a competition, maybe; but a Tasting, no. I just knew there was none that could even come close to hers. So, why did I make this one?
Two things: curiosity (love experimenting) and really wanted to find a meatloaf that was made with as many lovely local products as I could lay my hands on. The third might be that anything wrapped in bacon would be a showstopper at any Potluck buffet!
Budapest Deli makes the best bacon in the city: double smoked and meaty. I picked up the veal, pork and beef all at The Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market from a couple of my other favourite producers: one pound of each. The eggs are from Sunworks Farm at the same market. Look at that bowl of fresh fragrant goodness!
The flat-leafed parsley was from Morinville Greenhouses (same market) and the onion and garlicÂ from a vendor there, too. The salt, ketchup, mustard and breadcrumbs were not from the market.
Irvings Farm Fresh has the best pork as I love the Berkshire boar, and Four Whistle Farms provided the other meats. I could and should make my own ketchup. I have always wanted to. I used salted soda crackers for the bread crumbs as I have always preferred those to bread in meatloaf or meatballs, but I have to work at what else I could use, too. This is a healthy main. No doubt about it.
I free formed it into a loaf on parchment on a cookie sheet then wrapped a pound of bacon slices around it and tucked them under it.
It didn’t look so crispy when it first came out of the oven, so I tucked it under the grill and watched it carefully for about five minutes to get this golden crust.
The result: this meatloaf stood strong beside my mom’s. I should have taken a better photo of hers, but will do that when I write the post about it. We were all so surprised at how lovely the texture and flavour of this meatloaf was. Mom’s was actually a little “watery” in the centre when compared beside it. I was stunned. I do love her “crust”, but I had to admit that double smoked bacon held its own to hers.Â All in all, a very simple, easy homemade meal bursting with flavour and a whole lotta love!
(I know, I know…. where are the vegetables? There were more, and though this salad looks like a subtle bit of crunch, it was a zingy delight. Sometime I will have to do a post on easy supper salads!)
Adapted from Joseph Verde’s recipe
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2large onion)
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
- 500g or 1 lb. ground beef, 85-percent lean
- 500g or 1 lb. ground veal
- 500g or 1 lb. ground pork
- Â¾ cup ketchup (homemade is best)
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1cup fresh plain breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2tsp. salt
- 1 tsp.. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 pound of raw bacon for one loaf, 2 pounds for two loaves
- Heat the oven to 350Â°F
- In a small skillet, heat oil; add onions sautéover medium heat until soft (about 4 min.)
- Add garlic; sautéanother minute to soften; set aside to cool
- In a large mixing bowl, place all the remaining ingredients except the bacon; add the cooled onion-garlic mixture
- Mix with two forks until the ingredients are just combined; don’t overwork the meat
- Line a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper
- Carefully place the meat mixture down the center of the pan; shape into a large loaf (or divide the mixture into two, or four equal portions, about 12 oz. or 6 oz. each, and shape each portion into an individual meatloaf)
- Wrap strips of bacon around the shaped loaf, overlapping slightly, tucking the ends under the loaf (If you are doing 2
- Bake the meatloaf until an instant-read thermometer registers 160Â°F, 50 to 60 minutes for a medium loaf, or 25 to 35 minutes for smaller loaves (I haven’t baked one large loaf)
- Before slicing, let the meatloaf rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow some carryover cooking and to let the juices redistribute
- To serve, slice and spoon some of the pan juices over the slices
- For a little extra color, sauté1 cup diced red, green, and yellow bell peppers along with the onions and garlic; when cool, fold them into the rest of the mixture
- The simple addition of 1/4cup shredded basil and 1/4cup grated Parmesan cheese will offer another level of flavor, or add a tablespoon of a favorite fresh herb, such as thyme or rosemary
LeQuan happened to drop by with the kiddies just as this was coming out of the oven. I love it when that happens! And, look…. someone else did, too!