I love looking at my cookbooks because most of them have been gifts. I not only get to make fabulous food, I also take a moment for a fond memory of unwrapping the book. My in-laws have gotten me a Barefoot Contessa cookbook for my birthday the last few years and I decided after a 4 day work trip that I was sick of eating out and wanted to cook something so I went straight to Ina. She didn't disappoint.
I started with her 1770 House Meatloaf recipe but as is my MO, I made some substitutions but was very happy with how it turned out. The original recipe called for veal and though I've never tried veal, I have kind of a mental block against it. It's not rational but it's there so I'm admitting to it. I also didn't think I had any Panko so I used cracker crumbs instead. And as soon as I mixed them in with the meat, I found my panko. Such is life, I guess.
The cookbook has a sauce recipe but I chose to serve with beef gravy instead and put it with mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans.
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley
3 large room temperature eggs
1 1/3 cups cracker crumbs
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Put the meats, thyme, parsley, eggs, crumbs, milk and salt and pepper in a huge bowl. Seriously, it's 3 lbs of meat.
Saute the celery and onion in a frying pan until soft. Remove pan from the heat and put cooled celery and onions in the bowl of meat and goodies.
Put a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. You want your pan to have a small lip so it can catch the juices from the meatloaf.
Using your hands, mix your meatloaf. Once everything is mixed well and evenly distributed, attempt to shape it into a loaf. Mine looked more like a mound o' meat but it was uniformly thick, which is what you're going for.
Bake meatloaf for 45ish minutes. Depending on how thick you shaped it, your cooking time will vary. Mine was wide and flat and done in about 45 minutes. I check for doneness by looking at the juices (should be clear) and kind of poking it with the flat side of a wooden spoon. It should be springy without being squishy. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust