A bad meatloaf experience can make anyone wary. But a good one can be a transcendent thing. Typically, I make mine with a Sriracha glaze, stuffed with whatever cheese I have on hand.
For this one, though, I tucked both cheese and bacon inside. Then, I made a spicy tomato marmalade glaze that doubles as a side condiment. When paired with bashed, loaded potatoes, it's a comforting meal that even a meatloaf-hater could love.
If you want to make individual loaves, by all means do so. Just divide the meat into six even portions, stuff them individually, and form them into orbs. Then, place them on a foil-lined tray that's sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Note: The meat tastes wonderful the next day, sliced and tucked into crusty bread with a wisp of mayonnaise and a dollop of tomato relish.
- Yield:Serves 6
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:About 2 1/2 hours
- For the Meatloaf:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 2 teaspoons grated onion
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons), divided
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 8 slices of bacon, cooked, divided
- 1 cup grated cheese, such as Gouda or cheddar, divided
- For the Potatoes:
- 1 1/2 pounds medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- For the Tomato Jam:
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted, such as Muir Glen)
- 2 hot pickled cherry peppers, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Add beef, pork, grated onion, 2 cloves garlic, egg, oats, garlic salt and garlic powder to a large bowl and mix by hand until combined. Press half of meatloaf into the bottom of the loaf pan, leaving a slightly indented well in the middle, running its length. Place 1/4 cup of the cheese in the well. Tuck in 4 slices of bacon. Finish with 1/4 cup of cheese, and top with the rest of meat mixture, pressing down to make a cohesive loaf and seal in the fillings. Place in oven to bake.
While the meat is cooking, add potatoes to a large pot filled with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat slightly and simmer until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain, return to pan and add butter. Roughly smash. Crumble four remaining slices of bacon and add to pan along with sour cream and remaining 1/2 cup grated cheese. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, make the tomato jam by adding fire-roasted tomatoes, pickled peppers, vinegar, brown sugar, crushed red pepper and remaining 2 cloves of garlic to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
About 10 minutes before meatloaf is finish cooking, baste with tomato marmalade. Return to oven for a few more minutes to form a glaze. Meatloaf is done cooking when an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center registers 155°F, 30 to 35 minutes total.
Remove meat from oven and let rest in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out of pan, slice and serve with smashed potatoes and remaining tomato marmalade.