I promised my friend Jennifier I’d post this . . . . a long time ago. Sorry I took so long.
For other readers — this is a really good recipe. Whenever I make it, it doesn’t stay around long. That includes the times I’ve tripled the recipe to 6 lbs of meat, and it still won’t last a week!
This recipe is a modified version of the “Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar – Ketchup Glaze” that appears on page 451 of The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated, 2nd Edition, ISBN 978-0-936184-74-6 (Amazon.com link) — eagle-eyed observers will notice right away I’ve cut out the glaze. I’ve made other modifications too.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Take a cookie sheet with raised sides and line it with aluminum foil.
- cooked onions
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped, approx 1 cup
- 3 medium garlic cloves (or more if you like garlic), minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking 1-minute oats
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley (can be either flat or curly)
- 2 lbs ground beef
- liquid ingredients and seasonings
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or whole milk if you don’t have yogurt, but it tastes better with yogurt)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
- 1 Tblsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt (optional)
- 8 0z bacon (or more) — see notes below about bacon
Put the oil in a skillet and use it to saute the onions until soft, about five minutes. Set aside to cool. If you like, you can saute the garlic with the onions, or add the garlic raw in the next step.
Put the ground beef, oats, parsley, and garlic (if not sauted) in a medium or medium-large mixing bowl.
Put all ingredients listed under liquid ingredients and seasonings (yogurt/whole milk, eggs, thyme, pepper, hot pepper sauce, mustard, Worcestershire, and salt if used) in a small bowl and whisk together.
If the onions have cooled, add them to the bowl with the ground beef. Add in liquid ingredients mixture. Mix all together in bowl until the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is starting to stick together, about 2-3 minutes if mixing with your hands (which is messy, but not as hard on my hands or as time-consuming as when I’ve tried using a fork to mix everything together).
Pour the meat loaf mixture out on the foil-lined cookie pan. Shape by hand into a loaf shape. There should be at least an inch of space between the loaf and the sides of the cookie sheet. If you have doubled or tripled the recipe it may be necessary to use more than one cookie sheet and cook it in two or more batches.
Place bacon strips across the top of the loaf.
BACON NOTE 1: This part of the recipe does not scale linearly with the rest. So if you double the recipe, you will not necessarily need to use 16 strips of bacon to cover the loaf just because a single recipe used 8 strips.
BACON NOTE 2: You can use uncooked bacon. But I personally prefer the precooked thin-sliced sandwich bacon you can now get in some stores, it’s not as greasy as uncooked bacon and I don’t have to worry about whether it’s fully cooked too when the meat loaf is done.
Put cookie sheet with bacon-covered loaf in oven. Cook until internal temperature reaches at least 160 F, about 1 hour. (Might be more in cases of double or triple recipes, depends on shape of loaf).
A fair amount of liquid will come out of the loaf while cooking, this is normal. When done cooking, this liquid and the foil lining for the cookie sheet can be thrown away.
There is an interesting story behind this recipe — I found it while looking for a meat loaf recipe that I thought no one else in the house would like. Leftover meatloaf is good to reheat and also good when sliced cold and put in a sandwich, but if I make anything that tastes too good then everyone eats it and . . . no leftovers. So I found this recipe and thought “parsley??? YOGURT???? Surely no one else will even THINK of trying this!” And the first time I made it, it came out of the oven just as my father, brother, and our hired hands stopped by for lunch. There were already two roasted chickens sitting very prominently in the kitchen where they would be quite obvious, but my brother zeroed in on the meat loaf and said “what’s this??”. I explained it was a new recipe I had just tried, which I had never tried before, and I didn’t know if it would be any good — and within 2 minutes I had only about 1/10th of it left. The chickens got mostly ignored, I was left struggling between pride from everyone exclaiming how good the meat loaf was and irritation that they were supposed to not like it in the first place, and when I asked my brother or father later if they hadn’t noticed that it tasted a bit funny since it had PARSLEY AND YOGURT in it, they said nope, tasted great, they would never have guessed it had those ingredients in it, and was I going to make any more since this batch had disappeared so fast?
Cross-posted to MySpace and Facebook.