Meatloaf. We all have our favorites. The funny thing is our favorite is typically the one we make ourselves. If someone makes a meatloaf, it’s always the best and you can’t tell them any different. I have to include myself in that segment of the population. My husband and I each have our own meatloaf recipe and of course we each think ours, individually, is the best.
Until last night that is. We have thrown away our respective recipes and we now have the best meatloaf recipe. Ev-VER-rrrrr! Well, in our own humble opinion, that is.
Meatloaf is as subjective a topic as a macaroni and cheese recipe. We all have that recipe that our mom made, one that has passed down through the generations, or even one that we have created ourselves based on what we like and don’t like to add in. There is not one recipe that is exactly the same as someone else’s. Meatloaf is a personal odyssey of originality and taste, a symphony of meats, cheeses and vegetables. That is why we all love it and we all love the one we make ourselves.
This particular recipe, adapted from a show I saw on the Food Network, was in a category of the best eaten comfort foods. The meatloaf had been selected by Ina Garten from Tavern 1770.. Since it was meatloaf it seemed almost mandatory that I make my own personal stamp on it, and so I did.
Although my husband thoroughly coated his with a layer of ketchup, we both agreed that this was the best we had ever made or had. I will, however, have to be understanding of the fact you may not agree with our opinion.. You may not even want to try this recipe because you might still hold on to the fact that yours is the best….and perhaps it is. But I would challenge you to give this a try….just for something different. It’s full of flavor, moist and hearty all at the same time. And, I can assure you, that while you may not think it’s the “best” in your home, you will still want to keep it as a really good back-up.
Be forewarned, the next time someone asks me if I have a good recipe for meatloaf, I am going to say yes. Yes, I actually do have the best meatloaf recipe.
The Best Meatloaf
- 1 pound ground veal (preferably naturally raised)
- 1 pound ground pork (preferably naturally raised)
- 1 pound ground beef (preferably naturally raised)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh fresh thyme, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- 3 large eggs (preferably organic)
- 1 1/3 cups finely ground Panko
- 2/3 cup whole milk I used goat's milk
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 cloves roasted garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Olive oil
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock
- 8-10 roasted garlic cloves
- 3 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko, milk, roasted garlic, Pecorino Romano, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and film it with extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the celery and onion to the pan and cook, stirring until softened. When the mixture is cooled, add it to the other ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Using clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan with sides at least 1 1/2 inches high.
Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to reduce any air pockets. Shape the meat into a loaf (about 14 1/2 inches long, 5 inches wide and 2 inches high.)
Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer indicates an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile for the sauce, combine the broth, roasted garlic cloves and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Add 1 teaspoon each of the chopped chives, parsley and thyme.
Slice the meatloaf and place pieces in the sauce for 3 to 4 minutes. Place on serving plates and top with sauce.