I've made meatloaf a bazillion times, but somehow it's always just missed the mark of my flapper heart -- think bleak and boring...
...UNTIL I found Tyler's recipe.
I should have known Tyler Florence, chef extraordinaire from the Food Network, would present a recipe that would not only be scrumptious, but something I'd even consider preparing for guests. The tomato relish in and on this loaf is the snack magic element!
A word about Tyler's cooking style (aka, flapperosophy): He has a genius way of designing base flavor layers to all his dishes. The end products are always arresting, complex, delightful: they make me stop multi-tasking and just EAT. I always really EXPERIENCE and enjoy his recipe in zen-like bliss.
Onto the meat loaf: A truly sublime and lovely little loaf. I saw him prepare this dish on his show "Tyler's Ultimate" on the Food Network. I flapperfied it by using ground turkey (instead of pork & beef), whole grain bread slices, non-dairy milk, and turkey bacon, but that's totally your choice.
Pair it with my Sage Roasted Winter Veggies and a nice cold Guiness, and you are ready for a comfy winter night of nesting.
And while you're at it, have another Guiness with a snap of dark chocolate for dessert :))
YUMMY MEAT LOAF FROM TYLER'S DAD
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced (or 3 roasted red peppers from a jar, chopped)
2 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (12-ounce) bottle ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices whole grain bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks by hand
1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
2 pounds of ground turkey
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 bacon slices (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a skillet with a 2-count of oil and place over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for a few minutes to create a base flavor. Throw in the red peppers and cook them for a couple of minutes to soften. Now add the tomatoes; adding them at this point lets them hold their shape and prevents them from disintegrating. Stir in the parsley, ketchup, and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes to pull all the flavors together. Remove it from the heat; you should have about 4 cups of relish.
MAKE MEAT LOAF:
Place the torn bread in a bowl and add the milk to just barely cover, swish the bread around in the milk and let it sit while you get the rest of the ingredients for the meat loaf together.
This is where you get your hands dirty! In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with 1 1/2 cups of the tomato relish, the eggs, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Squeeeeeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture.
[Tip: You can test the loaf by frying or microwaving a small "hamburger" patty of the meatloaf until cooked; the patty should hold together but still have a soft consistency. Taste the patty for seasoning.]
Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Transfer the meat mixture to the center of the cookie sheet and form into a log about 9 inches long and about 4 inches wide. OR you can pile the loaf into a lightly oiled loaf pan. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another 1/2 cup of the tomato relish. Lay the turkey bacon across the top lengthwise.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf firm. Rotate the meat loaf while it's baking every now and then to insure that the bacon browns evenly. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side. Unbelievably moist!
Eat. Smile. Sip your beer. Feel the snack love. :)