Not Your Cafeteria Meatloaf

By • February 20, 2010 25 Comments

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Author Notes: I have never liked meatloaf until I decided to make my own one day. Which in all honesty, it took several times of making before I came up with this formulation. This takes some time, but the end result is an extremely flavorful and moist meatloaf, not at all like the memories of the meatloaf you used to eat in the cafeteria. I always serve this with roasted potatoes. If you surround the meatloaf with peeled, cut potatoes they pick up all of the flavors and fat from the meat and bacon.ADRIENE

Food52 Review: At first, we were skeptical about a meatloaf containing this much bacon (1 lb.) and this many eggs (5). Admittedly, our curiosity was piqued. We found that the bacon infuses the meatloaf with a deep smokiness and because ADRIENE calls for lean meat, the fat from the eggs, bacon and cream is welcome, not overkill. Chopping veggies in a food processor is a great time saver, and the ketchup, parmesan and Worcestershire add several more layers of flavor. We especially love the patty test for seasoning (it only took us one try!), and the homemade ketchup that's slathered over the top of the meatloaf. This recipe serves a crowd, and although we made one large loaf, it might be wise to make two smaller ones -- they'll cook faster, without browning too much on top. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 8-10


  • 1 28 oz can tomato puree
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cider vineagr
  • salt & pepper


  • 3.25 pounds ground beef (lean)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 16 oz package of bacon cooked (until crisp), small diced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 carrots (peeled)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • salt & pepper
  1. First make the sauce. Add all ingredients in one pot and bring up to a boil. Adjust salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar to your preference. Turn of flame and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rough chop the carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Add the rough chopped vegetables to a food processor and chop until very small pieces, about the size of large breadcrumbs. Pour into a large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, cream, bacon, cheese, bread crumbs, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to the large bowl and mix until everything is completely combined.
  4. Now add the ground beef to the bowl and mix extremely well until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed through the meat.
  5. Take a small non-stick saute pan and put a touch of oil in the pan until hot. Take a TBS. of the meat mixture and make a flat patty and cook in the saute pan, flip over and cook on both sides for a few minutes. Cool off and check for seasoning. This is a must do, do not skip this step! It usually takes 2 tries until you have the salt, pepper or whatever ingredients you might want more of adjusted.
  6. Take a baking pan and grease thouroughly. Now form the meatloaf into one large loaf in the center of the baking pan. If you are adding potatoes now would be the time to season them and add around the meatloaf.
  7. Brush the sauce on the meatloaf and put in the oven. Every 20 minutes or so pull out the meatloaf and re-baste with the sauce. If the meatloaf starts getting too dark on top then cover loosely with a sheet of foil paper.
  8. Cook until the center of the meatloaf registers 160 with a meat thermometer. This will take around 2 hours, depending how thick you form the meatloaf. Let the meatloaf sit for 15 minutes before you cut. Use additional sauce to top cut meatloaf if you desire.

More Great Recipes: Ground Beef|Beef & Veal|Entrees|Bread|Tomatoes

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