Bacon cheddar meatloaf

Sounds gluttonous, doesn’t it?

I was starting to think maybe I just didn’t like the taste of meat generally until I made this and it completely restored my faith.

I cut this recipe out of a Real Simple magazine when I was still vegetarian because it looked so yummy, and I figured I could adapt it. It calls for Gruyere cheese, but I was getting practically mauled in the cheese aisle at the Berkeley Bowl so I picked up the closest thing, which was New York cheddar. I’d say it’s a pretty good substitute.

Here is the recipe, which other than the cheese swap, and cooking it an extra 10 minutes, I followed to the letter: Bacon-Gruyere meat loaf with roasted carrots and onions

I think there are three secrets to why this is so good. (And it’s not even the bacon part!)

Using ground chuck, which is fattier, helps a lot with moisture and flavor. You still drain off all the excess fat before you serve it, so it’s not greasy or anything. And then you let it rest for 10 minutes before you cut into it, which not only brings it up to temperature, it helps it retain that moisture even more. The shredded onions are also much nicer to bite into than chopped bits would be, so I’m definitely using that technique again.

The recipe says to eat it with ketchup, but I had some leftover gravy in the fridge that was an ideal topping.

We also had some spinach salads on the side.

When you plate up a chunk of meatloaf and a scoop of roasted veggies it looks so petite on a normal-sized plate you feel like it kinda needs a little something extra.

Need a veggie meat loaf? Try this one.

Bon appetit!

(Which reminds me that I caught an episode of Julia Child on the Cooking Channel the other day where she dumps a tarte tatin onto a plate and it completely falls apart. Of course she just rolls with it. Thanks for the reminder that cooking doesn’t have to be perfect!)