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Author Notes: I am not a born and bred Texan (though I got here as fast as I could). My mother in law, however, is - born and raised in Matagorda where the Colorado empties into the Gulf. She is the one that introduced me to the Southern tradition of adding boiled eggs where I was not used to seeing them - gravy, tuna salad, you name it. And you know what? Boiled eggs make things BETTER! And so I decided to create a meatloaf in honor of her, and incorporate those eggs ... this meatloaf is an afternoon project, but well worth the effort. —aargersi
- 4 slices of smoked bacon - fried crisp
- 5 hard boiled eggs - peeled
- 1 cup minced sweet onion
- 8 cloved garlic - chopped
- 1/2 cup minced celery
- 1/2 cup minced fresh tomato
- additional slices of fresh tomato
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 thick slice white bread - crusts removed and torn up (about a cup of bread)
- 1 pound lean ground beef (I used the very leanest - 97% - and it was fine)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- dried peppers - stemmed and seeded - I used 2 smoked cherry peppers and one ancho chili. The amount you use depends on the level of heat you want (I have been accused of being a little over-enthusiastic with my chilis :-)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen - 14.5 oz can)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper, stir in the bread and set it aside.
- Heat 2 tbs olive oil to med-high. Saute 1/2 c onion, 1/2 the garlic, celery and tomato until they are all just soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Make Ranchero sauce - saute the remaining onion and garlic in the remaining olive oil. Add the other 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and paprika. Hydrate the chilis in the beef stock (I put them in a pyrex measuring cup and nuke for a minute) then add them to the pot. Add the canned tomatoes (including the liquid) and the tomato paste. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then blend - I use an immersion blender. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper, and set it aside.
- Back to the meatloaf - your sauted veggies should now be cool. Mash the bread mixture up, then add the veggies. Now stir in you crisp chopped bacon. Get the beef out and gently mix that in until everything is incorporated. Use your hands - it's fun!
- Wash your hands. Heat the oven to 375 and spray a loaf pan with no-stick. I used pyrex.
- Put half of the meat mixture in the loaf pan. Slice the all white ends off of the eggs and feed them to the dog. Or yourself. This way every slice of meatloaf has a nice yolk. Now lay the eggs end to end the long way, then tuck them in with the remaining meat mixture. Lay slices of tomato across the top of the loaf, them top the whole thing with several spoonfulls of ranchero sauce.
- Bake your meatloaf for an hour and 15 minutes. It will be bubbling and nice and brown on top. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Re-warm the remaining ranchero while it rests. Slice and carefully shimmy the slices out of the pan so as not to dislodge the eggs. Serve with additional ranchero sauce. Welcome to Texas!!!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Meatloaf
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