Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Meat loaf is an American classic, comforting, soulful and when made right, tastes just as delicious the next day nestled between two slices of white bread.  I've tried dozens of recipes trying to get the right balance of texture and flavor.  I think meat loaf should have a delicious crust on the outside and be moist with simple, subtle flavors on the inside.  My recipe is based on a classic meat loaf recipe but the added ingredient of bacon heightens the dish to near culinary nirvana. My advice-make double so you have lots for leftovers!

This meat loaf recipe is adapted from the Dean and DeLuca Cookbook.  The moist teture is derived from the use of white bread cubes (not breadcrumbs) that have been soaked in milk and eggs. Their version is cooked in a loaf pan without any coating--I prefer a free form loaf with a nice glaze.

3 cups soft white bread cubes
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 T Dijon mustard
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
12 slices bacon, lightly brown and torn into small pieces
2 punds ground beef

For the glaze-
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place bread crumbs in a bowl. Beat egg and milk together ina bowl and pour over bread.  Let stand util bread absords all the liquid, about 5 minutes. Mash and stir mixture until bread is in very small chunks.

Add onion, parsley, bacon and seasonings to mixture. Add ground beef and mix well. Refrigerate for one hour.

Form loaf with mixture and put in baking pan.  Combine glaze ingredients and apply half to loaf.
Bake for 25 minutes and apply rest of glaze. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

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