Today's post is going to be a little bit different from the norm. First of all, I don't even have a recipe for my Satan's Meaty Meatloaf, so you're just gonna hafta follow along with my photos and cook with your gut, your intuition. I think that's why I love cooking so much more than baking ; one doesn't need to be so exact! A pinch of this here, a dollop of that there--cooking just feels so much more artistic to me, versus baking, which is truly a science.
The second reason this post is a little funky today? Well, you know how I always count my blessings, what I'm grateful for, at the end of each post? Today, just for kicks and giggles I'm quoting my favorite poet, EVER, instead. Mary Oliver--I think I have read every single poem she has ever published....they just SPEAK to me~! I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do....not much more can be put into words regarding my favorite subject, gratitude.
Are you watching your cholesterol? Diligent about your weight? A Vegetarian / Pescatarian / Vegan? Well then you might just want to skip today's post, because, ahem, you'll see! My Satan's meatloaf is for days when you want some real comfort food, and when lean ground turkey just won't do. And just for the record, we normally DON'T eat this way (Mom!)--hey, at least it's not as bad as Paula Deen's deep fried meatloaf, right? I don't even know if she has a deep fried meatloaf, but you know she probably does.........or will.
Okay, to begin, you're going to need about a pound each of ground beef (I just couldn't do the fatty stuff, so I think I used 90% here) and ground Italian sausage--I used the sweet kind..........................
Now pay attention here, because this next part is the KEY to a perfect meatloaf--you do not want to overmix or overhandle your meat! Wait, that sounded dirty--you know what I mean. Anyways, I usually just "shred" and separate the ground meats with my fingers, then lightly mix them together. Never use a fork, unless you want a tough and dry meatloaf. Next, add your basic meatloaf ingredients. Remember, meatloaf is really supposed to be a way for you to use up what you have on hand. Leftover stale bread? Make your own breadcrumbs and throw 'em in. Oatmeal in the pantry? Use it. I actually use two kinds of breadcrumbs--the "regular" kind, plus a little Panko. Just keeps things interesting.
So my meatloaf mixture consists of (aproximately) 2 eggs, beaten, about 1 cup of breadcrumbs (more if needed) and a cup of old fashioned oats, 2 or 3 tablespoons of Worchestershire, chopped onion (you can saute the onion first, if you desire), salt, pepper, a little oregano and a little basil. Be creative! Sometimes I've used red chili pepper flakes and / or garlic powder............................
You can also use any leftover vegetables you might have on hand, like chopped bell peppers or even carrots. Next, take off your wedding rings and dig in with the best kitchen tool in the world, your HANDS! Once everything is well combined, form into one or two loaves, and place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet.
I made up my own glaze for the top of the meatloaf.....I combine a little brown sugar, a little Dijon mustard (regular mustard works well too) and about a teaspoon of Worchestershire. Combine and spoon over top of loaf....................
Now here's my husband's favorite part, and where Satan himself comes to visit. Take about 8 or 9 strips of BACON, that's right, I said BACON, and lay them across the top of your beautiful loaf, like so (you don't even have to cook the bacon first--bonus!)................
You will not believe the extra flavor the bacon gives your meatloaf...all of that bacon-ey goodness just oozes down into your precious loaf of meat while cooking.....so lip smackin' delish! So then you'll want to cook your meatloaf for about an hour at 350 degrees. After that, remove from oven and check inside the middle of the meatloaf for doneness...there should be no pink remaining. Let sit, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, then slice and serve to some very hungry and happy eaters............
Oh yes, I don't want to forget to remind you that meatloaf makes for the BEST sandwiches...I grew up eating sliced meatloaf on white bread, with ketchup.......amazing. Don't do the white bread anymore, but I still adore a good whole grain, open-faced meatloaf sandwhich, anyday! Enjoy!
This poem by Mary Oliver perfectly sums up my feelings on prayer and gratitude and living in the moment.....................
"I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?"
(from "The Summer Day")