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This meatloaf is cooked free-form in an open baking dish, instead of stuffing it into a loaf pan, so there's plenty of well-browned crust to go around. The results are beyond compare; beef, pork, and bacon insure meatiness; Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and some chopped prunes add balance and a hint of sweetness. Recipe from Gourmet Magazine, All-American Comfort Foods.

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  • 1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T cider vinegar
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 1/4 lb chilled bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped (may substitute dates)
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 lb ground pork (not lean)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley


Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 90mins


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle.

Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, allspice, 2 t salt, and 1 1/2 t pepper. Add to bread-crumb mixture.

Finely chop bacon and prunes in a food processor, then add to onion mixture along with beef, pork, eggs, and parsley and gently mix together with your hands.

Pack mixture into a 9x5-inch oval loaf in a 13x9-inch shallow baking dish.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 160 degrees, 1 to 1 1/14 hours. Let meatloaf stand 10 minutes before serving.

*Cooked meatloaf keeps 3 days, chilled, and is ideal for sandwiches.


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