I suffered many cruelties at the hands of my parents in my childhood. Many. Most of the evil came in the form of deprivations they imposed upon me.
I was not allowed to wear a non-competitive swim suit when all the other girls were starting to sport OP instead of Speedo.
I was not allowed to have a LeSportSac bag in highschool. Not allowed. Why? Because the naughty girls carried such satchels. I mean look how naughty it is!
And…in Junior High School when Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell album was taking teenagers by storm…I was not allowed to own it. Even though I could purchase the album with my own hard-earned money…I wasn’t allowed.
I wasn’t allowed because of the hit song “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights”. The song includes a sportscast of a baseball play where the batter is trying to round the bases. I don’t know – Maybe it meant something else?!? But I just liked the song and wanted to own the album. I think that my father was also opposed to the whole ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ title. You know, because of Satan.
Later on, I learned that many people don’t like Meatloaf….the man AND the meal. But, Tyler Florence’s ‘Dad’s Meatloaf with Tomato Relish’ might just change all that.
Mmmmmmmeatloaf ala Tyler Florence (Serves 4-6)
Tiny apartment tips:
- Recipe calls for whole milk…but, you can use any combination of 1%, 2% and cream – whatever you have in your apt
- Recipe calls for 3 slices of white bread…but, what will you do with the rest of the loaf? So, I bought a demi loaf of french bread and used the inside of that instead
- Recipe calls for a combination of Beef and Pork, 1.5lbs and 1lb respectively. BUT, ground beef comes in 1lb and 2lb packages…which means you would have extra and then what? And, I like veal in my meatloaf…so I buy 2.5lbs of Meatloaf mix instead. It’s ok if you have slightly more or slightly less. But I did find 1.25lb packages of the stuff and just bought 2.
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 Onion finely diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 Bay Leaves – dried, jarred bay leaves are AOK
- 2 Red Bell Peppers, cored, seeded and finely diced
- 3 smallish tomatoes on the vine diced and seeded – or 2 large ones
- 1/4 Cup fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley chopped
- 12 oz Tomato Ketchup – the Heinz bottles are 14oz…so just use most of it
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 Slices of white bread OR 1 demi loaf of french bread – no crusts and torn by hand.
- 1/4 Cup whole milk….OR a mix of 2% and heavy cream
- 2 1/2 lbs of ground meats…I use Meatloaf Mix which includes beef, pork and veal
- 2 Eggs
- Leaves from 2 Fresh Thyme sprigs – I have frozen sprigs in the freezer at all times
- 4 Slices of Bacon
- Salt an Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. In a large skillet, heat 2 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat
2. Add the bay leaves, onion and garlic and saute until fragrant and beginning to soften – about :04 minutes
3. Add in the red peppers and saute stirring for about :03 minutes
4. Add the tomatoes, parsley, ketchup and Worcestershire and stir to combine
5. Add salt and pepper to taste – I just grind some pepper over the mix and throw some sea salt in…like a teaspoon or so.
6. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for :05 minutes to combine all flavors
7. Remove from the heat…And this is V IMPORTANT: Let cool….
Seriously….let it stand for at least :10mins. Remove the bay leaves at this point.
8. While that’s going on…Tear the bread into pieces and drop into a small bowl – cover with 1/2 cup of milk/cream combo
9. Crack the eggs into a small bowl or glass and gently beat them
10. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meatloaf mix with 1 1/2 cups of the cooled tomato relish, the eggs and thyme leaves
11. Squeeze the excess milk/cream from the bread pieces and add the bread to the meatloaf mix
12. Using your hands, mix the meatloaf
13. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with Reynold’s Wrap Pan lining paper
14. Form the meat mixture into a loaf – about 9 inches x 4 inches
15. Coat the top of the top of the meatloaf with about 1/2 cup of the relish
16. Cover the relish coated loaf with 4 strips of bacon
17. Bake for 1 1/2 hours – the bacon will be crispy and the meatloaf will be firm
18. Take the meatloaf out of the oven and let it stand for about :10 minutes before slicing
OK…so Tyler Florence might not change anyone’s opinion of the singer, Meatloaf. And, I may never be able to convince anyone that Paradise by the Dashboard Lights is really a love story – although Meatloaf does promise to love the girl in the song ‘until the end of time’ and all. But, don’t deprive yourself of the magic of meatloaf. Because Tyler Florence’s meatloaf IS paradise and may just change your meatloaf hating mind.