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Sunday was a long day with constant rain, just about the greyest sky I’ve seen in a long time, which eventually transformed itself into a wintry mix and just under an inch of snow on the ground.  The best thing I can tell you about our Sunday was that I disappeared into our kitchen to prepare this meatloaf.

This seemed like the perfect day to tackle this recipe from epicurious since it was a change from the usual meatloaf and had a couple of extra steps.  Sundays are perfect for those recipes that require extra steps don’t you think?  The only unfortunate thing I can tell you about preparing it on our rainy-wintry mix day, was that natural light was in short supply and it shows in the photos.

It was so nice to sit down to a nice family dinner together that evening.  I served baked potatoes and a tossed green salad on the side.  Later on that evening, we watched a movie together and my oldest managed to read a couple of chapters in  his book.  It was the perfect evening for reading and sitting by a fire.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and then to get started, you’ll need a 1/2 cup of pitted prunes, chopped.  These beauties are going to end up in your food processor with bacon.   Oh, those two were meant to go together don’t you think?  Sweet and salty…yum.

Mix together 1 tsp of Kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 tsp of allspice and set aside.

I place a couple of slices of day-old bread in the bowl of the food processor to yield 1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs.  To that add 1/3 cup of milk, stir to combine and let the milk soak into the breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp of unsalted butter over medium heat.  Add 1 finely chopped medium onion, 1 finely chopped celery rib, 1 finely chopped carrot and 3 cloves of minced garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and cover skillet, cooking until carrot is tender, about 5 more minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and uncover.  Add the spice mixture, 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp of cider vinegar.  Stir to combine.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add breadcrumb-milk mixture to the mixing bowl.

In the bowl of your food processor, finely chop the prunes and 4 slices of bacon.  Add the prune-bacon mixture along with 2 eggs and 2 lbs of meatloaf  mix (ground pork, veal and beef)  to the mixing bowl.  Mix all ingredients together using your hands.

Shape mixture into a 9- by 5-inch loaf and place into a shallow baking dish or pan.  Bake in a preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf reas 155F or about 1-1/4 hours.

Garnish with 2 slices of bacon cooked crisp.  Oh, my husband was happy to see the bacon on top of the meatloaf when I brought it to the table that evening.

While the meatloaf rested about 10 minutes, I tossed the salad with a vinaigrette and my oldest finished setting the table.  My husband and I both loved the crispy crust on this meatloaf and this is definite winter-time fare, hearty and filling (probably could have done without the baked potatoes).

Here’s our Sunday meatloaf sliced into thick slices and ready to be served with the baked potatoes and salad I mentioned earlier.  The left-overs {and aren’t we always hoping for left-over meatloaf} made it into sandwiches yesterday.  I adore a good meatloaf sandwich.

Sunday Meatloaf

Ingredients

1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread)

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp allspice

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium celery rib, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices), chopped

1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped

2 pounds meatloaf mix (beef, pork and veal)

2 large eggs

2 slices bacon, fried (optional garnish)

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl.  Mix together salt, black pepper and allspice, set aside.

Meanwhile, cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low, then cook until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and spice mixture. Add to bread-crumb mixture.

Finely chop bacon and prunes in a food processor, then add to onion mixture along with meatloaf mix, and eggs, and mix together with your hands.

Shape mixture into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf and place in a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish or pan.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves: 6 to 8

 

 

I’ll see you tomorrow with a muffin recipe.  And one last thing, I’m looking for a recipe that uses prunes.  I’m sure somebody has something wonderful up their sleeve that they’d be willing to share…

 


 

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