Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Tomato Relish

A few weeks ago, I received a recipe recommendation from Kate, a friend of Kimberly’s and reader of TAA. She is so unbelievably sweet, has a crush on her KitchenAid (just like me!), and is so kind enough to take the time to recommend recipes to me when she and her fiance are over the moon about something. I have these bookmarked along with my never-ending ‘To Make’ list, and earlier this week I finally got around to trying a meatloaf recipe that she sent my way.

 

Here's her note:

“I had to write you about two recipes we made last night and tonight. The second was [Tyler Florence’s] meatloaf recipe. I've actually never had meatloaf in my life, but something was luring me (hearty, warm, fall deliciousness). It was so unbelievably good! The tomato relish made it. You guys should try them out! We been on a fall cooking rampage in Boston-there's just something so comforting about the cold weather and cooking. I'm loving it!”

Um...sign me up!

Shaun and I looooove meatloaf. It’s so comforting, so easy and makes a giant batch so we always have leftovers for lunch the next day or dinner the next evening. Now that the cool weather has arrived in full effect, I knew it was the perfect time to try out this recipe, and Kate, I am so on board with this amazing meatloaf that I am already scheduling it into my dinner repetoire for round 2. I made a few adaptations to fit our personal food habits (like substituting turkey for pork since Shaun doesn’t eat it) and what I had on hand (like substituting bread crumbs for white bread). It was moist (thanks bacon!) and super flavorful. Oh and I should also mention that our entire apartment smelled like homecooked wonderfulness...my stomach is rumbling just thinking about it!



The tomato relish is really the star of this dish. It adds a little more work to the preparation, but I beg you...try this today and do not - under any circumstances - skip out on the relish! Shaun and I actually made this together...he started the relish before I arrived home from work, then I made the meatloaf. Teamwork rules!

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf with Tomato Relish
*Adapted from Tyler Florence
for the tomato relish:
olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1-2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tsp dried parsley
12 oz ketchup (we used Heinz’s Reduced Sugar)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt
black pepper

for the bacon-wrapped meatloaf:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground turkey breast
¾ C seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ C skim or 1% milk
2 eggs
1 tsp fresh thyme
kosher salt
6 slices turkey bacon
cooking spray
1 recipe Tomato Relish, above

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the relish:
Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves and saute. Add red peppers and cook to soften. Add tomatoes, parsley, ketchup, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes and remove from heat.

To make the meatloaf:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, thyme and salt. Use your hands to really get in there! Add 1 ½ C of the cooked tomato relish. Let sit until it is cool enough to handle before once again using your hands to mix. Once completely combined, shape into a large loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Pour ½ C of the relish on top of the meatloaf and spread across top and sides with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula. Lay strips of bacon horizontally over top of the meatloaf. I used about 6 slices, but add more to cover the length of the loaf. Bake for about 1 hour. Let cool slightly and serve. If you have any relish leftover, serve with meatloaf.



Note: we did not have any relish left for dressing at the end. The original recipe says it makes 4 cups of relish, but ours only came to about 2 cups, which was a perfect amount. No extra relish topping required!

Note 2: Somehow, I forgot to buy tomatoes so we actually made this without the tomatoes. I found it worked completely deliciously even without them!

Shaun and I really loved this dish. The red peppers in the relish added so much flavor. Using lean ground meat kept this healthy. And the turkey bacon on top was really just ..er, icing on the cake, if you will. It's easy enough for a weekenight dinner, but delicious enough as an unexpected dish for an intimate, cool weather dinner party. I can't wait to make this again and again!

Question of the Day:

What is your go-to comfort food in the cool weather?