The Best Meatloaf Recipe

I have been making this meatloaf for years, in fact, I made it the night I gave birth to my first child and she's turning 26 this month! One suggestion though — leave out the garlic if you're about to give birth, especially if the future Dad will be eating it. The smell of garlic in the delivery room is not pleasant, to say the least!

This recipe makes a lot of meatloaf — enough to cook one for dinner and then another to freeze for later use — all you'll have to do the second time is thaw it out overnight in the refrigerator and, before baking, brush the top with ketchup, add the bacon and put it in the oven.  Easy peasy!

Don't miss my suggestions below for wines to go with the meatloaf.  Bon Appétit!

Each meatloaf serves 4 people or 2 people with enough leftovers to make 2 or 3 sandwiches.

  Serve Meatloaf with end-of-summer corn on the cob, garden tomatoes and mashed potatoes.

Serve Meatloaf with end-of-summer corn on the cob, garden tomatoes and mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium-sized onions, minced

2 sweet red peppers, chopped

1 twelve ounce package sliced mushrooms, rinsed and chopped

3 large cloves garlic, minced

3 pounds ground beef (I use 85%)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons hot chili sauce

1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

10-12 slices of bacon (5 to 6 for each meatloaf)

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan.  When hot, lower heat and add the onions, peppers and mushrooms.  Sauté until soft and the onion is translucent, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2) In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground beef with the vegetable mixture, eggs, chili sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper.  Leave a tablespoon of the ketchup aside.  The best way to combine everything is to use your freshly scrubbed hands.  Do not overmix or the meatloaf will end up dense and heavy.

3) Divide the meat mixture in two.  Place one portion on a large, flat piece of plastic wrap.  Mold into a 9-inch x 4-inch loaf (about 2 inches high) and wrap with the plastic wrap.  Place in a labeled freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing and put in freezer.  Place the rest of the meat onto a foil-lined baking sheet and shape into the same sized loaf.  Brush the top and sides with 2 tablespoons ketchup (the other two remaining tablespoons are for future use when you bake the frozen one).  Carefully place 5 to 6 slices of bacon on top of the meatloaf, overlapping slightly.

4) Bake in the oven for about 50 to 60 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees F.  Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  Slicing with a serrated bread knife gives the neatest pieces of meatloaf.  

  Sautéing the onion, pepper and mushrooms in olive oil

Sautéing the onion, pepper and mushrooms in olive oil

  Meatloaf brushed with ketchup

Meatloaf brushed with ketchup

  Meatloaf topped with bacon before putting it into the oven

Meatloaf topped with bacon before putting it into the oven

  Serve wtih fresh garden tomatoes (While  they're still in peak season) drizzled with good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fresh corn on the cob and mashed potatoes were also great accompaniments.

Serve wtih fresh garden tomatoes (While  they're still in peak season) drizzled with good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fresh corn on the cob and mashed potatoes were also great accompaniments.

  Wrap up the second meatloaf and freeze.  Use within six months.

Wrap up the second meatloaf and freeze.  Use within six months.

What wine would I have with the meatloaf? 

A red wine!  Most medium to full-bodied reds with a bit of a backbone to them would work perfectly with meatloaf.  I pulled a few favorites out of my closet:

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  • Chateau Lamothe de Haux 2015 from Cadillac-Cotes de Bordeaux, France.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  ($14.99 at Domaine Franey Wines & Spirits)
  • Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo 2013 from Piedmont, Italy ($27.19 at Garnet Wines & Liquors)
  • Jean Foillard "Cuvée Corcelette" Morgon 2013 from Beaujolais, France.  100% Gamay. ($39.99 at Chambers Street Wines)
  • Wind Gap Syrah 2012 from Sonoma Coast, California.  100% Syrah. ($42.99 at Grape Collective)
  • Domaine Tempier Bandol 2014,  from Provence, France.  A blend of mostly Mourvedre with Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. ($50.99 at Grape Collective)
  • Chateau Branaire-Ducru 2005 from Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France. A Bordeaux Blend, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. ($95 at Millesima)