- January 10, 2015
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When you picture a firefighter, what do you see? A scrawny, raw food enthusiast chowing down on a bowl of kale lightly dressed with lemon juice and idealism? Heck no! You envision a strapping and courageous person who needs to eat. This hearty meatloaf, straight from a firehouse in NC, packs a tasty protein punch sure to satisfy even our hungriest heroes.
For the Meatloaf
- 2 lbs meatloaf mix (beef, pork, veal)
- 4 strips of bacon
- 6 shiitake mushrooms, small dice
- 1/2 half medium onion, small dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Glaze
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays)
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (or another teaspoon of Worchestershire is fine)
1. Start by letting the meat come to room temperature in a cool place on your counter while you are preparing everything else (~30 minutes). This will allow the meat to cook more evenly in the oven, which is a great segue to this: preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop the bacon into small pieces. Here are two pieces of advice: 1). Use kitchen shears to cut the bacon, or 2). put the bacon in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to cutting it so that the meat is a bit firmer and easier to cut. In a small sauté pan over medium low heat, start rendering out the fat of the bacon.
3. Meanwhile, cut off the stems of the mushrooms and cut the tops into small squares. Cut the onion into a similar size. When the bacon appears to be about halfway cooked, add the mushrooms and onions into the pan so that they will finish cooking at the same time. If the bacon is producing a lot of fat, feel free to spoon out a tablespoon or two of the fat to avoid having too much. While the bacon and produce are cooking, quickly smash two cloves of garlic using the heel of your hand and the broad side of your knife. This will allow the skin to be pulled off easily and virtually minces the garlic for you. Run your knife through the garlic a few times until it is minced. Add it to the pan and cook for one minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
4. Break the egg into a large mixing bowl and scramble with a whisk. In the same bowl, whisk in the milk, Worcestershire sauce, sage and salt and pepper. Adding and mixing these ingredients now will help evenly distribute everything to the meat in the next step.
5. Crumble the ground meat lightly into the egg mixture in the bowl and then add in the bacon and mushroom mix. Lastly, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over everything and lightly mix everything together just until everything is evenly distributed. Try not to overwork the meat as it can produce a tougher texture when cooked.
6. You can use a loaf pan, but I prefer to use either a baking sheet with rims or a 9 x 13 casserole dish. A loaf pan will create a nice looking “loaf,” but it only allows the top to form a nice crispy crust while using the sheet pan will allow the whole loaf to brown. Either fill the loaf pan with the mixture or lightly shape a loaf onto the center of a a baking sheet. There is a enough fat in the mixture to prevent sticking, so there is no need to grease it first unless you are compelled to.
7. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated 350 degree. While it is baking, whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze. Taste it and make any adjustments you’d like. When the 40 minute timer goes off, remove the loaf and spread the glaze over it and then return to the oven. Bake for another 15 or 20 minutes or until the very center registers 160 degrees on a thermometer.
8. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. I would recommend serving this with mashed potatoes. It’s the right thing to do, after all.