Before I get into the meat of the post (ha get it, meat!) allow me a moment of candor. As I was growing up my mom’s meatloaf was just a terrible grey mass with ketchup drizzled on top. After time in the oven, the ketchup resembled a slightly sticky red shoelace (lawdy I hope she isn’t reading this). Looking back now I should have appreciated her effort more; She was in college, had a family and was putting home cooked meals on the table. I’m grateful she taught me that the experience of cooking for others can be rewarding, also thankful she didn’t teach me her meatloaf recipe.
Okay so enough sounding like a brat, time to share my take on the meatloaf. I knew it had to be moist (yes there is that word), full of flavor and boast something unwarranted. The jobs of flavor and juicy; those fall on the shoulders of finely chopped veggies and panko breadcrumbs. I love the sweetness from the veggies and added nutrition (scoffing laughter, okay a little added nutrition) all bound up with the panko. I wanted to take meatloaf past some unseen barrier from my childhood experiences, so I slathered it with BBQ sauce, wrapped it in bacon and added more BBQ sauce. Now you see why I had to convince myself the addition of the veggies brings nutrition to the equation.
I hope y’all enjoy my meatloaf recipe, that you fall in love with this comfort food all over again or for the first time.