COMBINE eggs and half-and-half in a large bowl. Mix until combined. Add sautéed vegetables, pork, beef, Tabasco, Worcestershire, mustard, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and black pepper. Mix well. Lightly work bread crumbs into meat mixture by hand and set aside.
LINE a loaf pan with 12 bacon strips, six on each side, so that the bacon will wrap the meat loaf. Place a strip at the joint where the bottom meets the side of the pan and bring the strip up the side of the pan and allow the excess to fold over the outside of the pan. Continue in this manner, alternating from side to side. When bacon is all laid out, place meat mixture in pan. Fold the bacon strips over the top of the loaf, completely wrapping loaf with bacon.
PLACE meatloaf in oven and bake until thermometer inserted in the center reads 160°.
American Meatloaf Deluxe
If you don't want to eat veal, you can replace it with pork or half pork, half beef. From "From the Ground Up: Hundreds of Amazing Recipes From Around the World for Ground Meats, including Beef, Chicken, Pork Seafood and More," by James Villas (Wiley, 2011). Makes 10 to 12 servings.
5 tablespoons butter, divided (3 and 2)
1/2 pound large mushrooms, stems finely chopped and caps reserved
1 large onion, diced
1/2 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1 pound ground beef round or rump
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, soaked in 1/2 cup heavy cream
3 slices bacon
Pimento-stuffed green olives, cut in half
MELT 3 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over moderate heat. Add mushroom stems, stir for about 5 minutes until most of their liquid has evaporated. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, thyme and rosemary; reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the liquid has evaporated.
HEAT oven to 350°.
PLACE ground beef, pork, veal and sausage in a large bowl. Add cooked vegetables and mix lightly. Add mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt, pepper, eggs and bread crumbs soaked in heavy cream.
MIX lightly with hands until blended. Shape the mixture into a firm oval loaf and place in a shallow baking dish or gratin dish. Drape the bacon over top, and bake 1 hour in the upper third of the oven. Remove bacon strips and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes longer, depending upon how thick the loaf is and how crusty you want the exterior.
MELT remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over moderate heat before meatloaf is removed from the oven. Add the reserved mushroom caps and stir until nicely glazed, about 2 minutes. Transfer the meatloaf to a large, heated platter, arrange olives on top and garnish the edges with mushroom caps.
Savor Café's Meatloaf with Sriracha Barbecue Sauce
Savor Café chef and co-owner Lori Pearson says she makes the meatloaf a day ahead and then heats slices on a gas grill before serving. Makes 2 loaves (3 pounds each), 6 to 8 servings each.
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup spicy Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
5 pounds ground sirloin
Sriracha Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
HEAT oven to 350°.
HEAT olive oil or bacon fat in a large skillet over moderate heat. Sauté peppers and onion until tender. Set aside. Let cool.
WHISK together eggs, mustard, salt and pepper in large bowl. Once vegetables are cool, add to eggs. Add bread crumbs. Let sit 10 minutes.
ADD ground beef and lightly knead with hands until thoroughly mixed. Mold meatloaves into rounded ovals in baking dishes. Bake for 50 minutes, rotating dishes in oven after 25 minutes. As meatloaves bake, make Sriracha Barbecue Sauce (recipe below.)
SLICE meatloaf and serve immediately. Or make meatloaf a day ahead, slice and grill to reheat.
Sriracha Barbecue Sauce
1/2 onion, cut into chunks
1/2 red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1/2 green pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 cup spicy barbecue sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
PLACE onion and peppers in a food processor and chop until finely diced. Add barbecue sauce, ketchup and Sriracha sauce and whip together until combined.