I have to give a shout out to Tyler Florence's Dad (if this really is his Dad's recipe like he states). This is the only meatloaf I will make. I've tried tons of recipes, and I always go back to this one. If you make this meatloaf and still think your recipe is better, you HAVE to send it to me!
I think what makes this meatloaf so good is the tomato relish. Red bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, worchestershire sauce, ketchup, crushed red peppers, etc....mmmmm.
I will say, this recipe is not fast. It takes about 30 minutes for the relish to come together and cool, and then an hour and a half for the meatloaf to cook. Definitely reserve this one for a weekend night. We didn't eat till around 8:45pm last night. Oops.
Once the relish cools, you can mix your meatloaf. We use ground turkey (as always), but beef and pork are recommended. The recipe works best if you have white bread soaked in milk, but I used Italian breadcrumbs last night and it was still awesome. You put a little relish inside your meat, and a little on top.
It only calls for 1/2 cup on top. I put more like a cup on there. And, you still have plenty for dipping. We EACH used another cup for dipping....it's that good. I like to shape in on a sheet pan lined with foil, so that the ends carmelize and get crunchy. You could easily put it in a couple loaf pans (or muffin tins for quick cooking!). I like to add a couple baked potatoes on our sheet pan to cook with the meatloaf. While it was cooking, I even had time to make some homemade whipped chive butter for our potatoes! (homemade butter recipe here)
YUMMMM. I love the dark edges! I never really look foward to dinner when I'm cooking, mostly because I'm lose my appetite when I'm around all that food and the dirty dishes. Last night though, I couldn't even wait to eat. So amazing, so moist....such a yummy supper.
MEATLOAF WITH TOMATO RELISH
Adapted from Tyler Florence's "Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish"
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced
- 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
- 1 pinch (or 2!) of crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks by hand
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 eggs
- Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 bacon slices
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.
Place the torn white 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. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture. To test, fry 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. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another 1/2 cup of the tomato relish. Lay the bacon across the top lengthwise.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is 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 a bit before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side. Unbelievably moist!