This recipe is initially designed for a larger family like mine, but I have offered a scaled down version for smaller families as well. The first recipe is also fantastic for make ahead meals.
If you want to save on cooking for dinner time in the future, simply prepare the original recipe and divide the meatloaf blend into 2 or 3 disposable loaf pans, baking and freezing the others, cooled wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip type freezer bag! The loaves will keep for at least 3 months, not that you will want to wait that long!
No worries about onion or garlicky hands, because all the ingredients are prepared mix-ins. Some cooks argue that meatloaves and ground meats are best when manipulated with your hands. I beg to differ and would rather opt for a long tined fork stirring and a sturdy rubber spatula, using a folding fashion for the bulk of the work and saving my hands for shaping at the end.
Make Ahead/Multiple Meal Recipe:
3 lbs. meatloaf blend, beef, veal and pork
5 oz. bag cheese and garlic croutons, crushed, about 1 1/2 c.
1/2 c. good quality medium salsa
1/3 c. ketchup
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. onion powder
6 slices good quality bacon, halved
Preheat oven to 375*F. Combine all ingredients w/ fork and rubber spatula until well blended.*
Shape into oblong loaf and arrange the pieces of bacon along the length of the loaf.
Bake until internal temperature reaches 165*F, about 35-40 minutes.
Let rest for 10 minutes or more before serving.
*I like to check my seasonings by frying a thin, tiny disc of the meat mixture before committing it to the shape or the oven, it's the best way to check. I learned this tip from Emeril Lagasse about 2 decades ago, BAM!
Small Family/ Single Meal Version:
1 lb. Meatloaf blend
1/2 c. Garlic and cheese croutons, crushed
1/3 c. Good quality medium salsa
2 tbsp. Ketchup
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Fish sauce
2-3 slices Bacon, halved.
See above instructions.