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March 11, 2011

Italian Meatloaf

There are certainly a gazillion meatloaf recipes out there and I have tried a lot of them. I think the best one was from my friend Zimmy but I lost that recipe and he's too lazy to send it to me again so I've been trying different ones along the way. (I'm pretty sure he's going to read this - he should RESEND IT!)

Fine Cooking had a whole feature on what I like to call "the meatloaf" in their Feb/March issue. I used the article as a starting point and worked with what I had and what I've found successful in the past. I had beef and some hot italian sausage in the freezer which I'd never combined before but I love anything with a little kick to it so decided to go for it! It made the biggest meatloaf I've probably ever seen, but I brought some to a friend and we had it for dinner/lunch a couple days so all was good in the world. This really is a pretty good comfort food for long Minnesota winters...

Italian Meatloaf:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1.5 lb ground beef
.5 lb hot italian sausage
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
6-8 thin slices bacon
1/4 cup bbq sauce (I used Famous Daves Bold and Sassy)

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Cook onion, celery and carrot until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until almost dry, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until warm but not hot.
3. In another bowl mix together the oatmeal, milk, Worcestershire sauce and fresh parsley. Stir until well combined and saturated.
4. Combine meat and eggs with the vegetables and oatmeal mixture. Season with salt and pepper and
using your hands, gently mix all the ingredients until just combined.
5. Transfer meatloaf mixture on a 9 x 13 baking pan and shape into a 4 x 10 rectangular block. Spread your bbq sauce over the top and lightly down the sides of the meatloaf and then criss cross the bacon strips over the meatloaf, trimming or tucking under if needed.
6. Bake 45 - 55 minutes or until done. Broil about 3 minutes to crisp up the bacon, if needed.
7. Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes and then cut into 1" slices and enjoy!

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