So guess who didn't eat meatloaf for like two decades? - Right.
Then I came across Michael Chiarello's Italian Meatloaf recipe...and it gave me hope!
Of course I had to tweak it - using buffalo ground meat, more garlic, etc. My family loves it (kids too!) and now, I'll even eat the leftovers - it's delicious. Did you know that early Southern meatloaf recipes actually called for buffalo rather than cow meat? Please don't be afraid of buffalo meat - it's leaner and actually tastes better...slip it in there, then tell em'!!
Italian Buffalo Meatloaf serves 4-6
2 TBL. extra-virgin olive oil (plus a bit extra to brush the pan)
1 red pepper, seeded, small diced
1 small sweet onion, small diced
2 tsp. (about 4-6 cloves) chopped garlic
2 lbs. ground buffalo meat
3/4 cup Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 TBL. Worcestershire sauce
1 TBL. balsamic vinegar
1 TBL. Italian Seasoning
2 TBL. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Ragu (here we go again!) Robusto! Sauted Onion & Garlic spaghetti sauce
Heat 2 TBL. of olive oil in a pan - saute the onions and red pepper until just soft. Throw in the garlic at the end - so it won't burn. Let everything cool, set aside.
Get a big bowl, and beat the eggs well. Then add everything else - except the spaghetti sauce - and combine well. Add the cooled sauted veggies also, and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 9 X 13 baking dish with olive oil.
Divide the meat mixture in half. Take one half and shape by hand into a loaf. Make it pretty flat, like about an inch? Place in baking dish, and spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce evenly. Form the other half into a loaf (flat again), place on top of loaf in the pan. Use the remaining sauce, and spread evenly.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 15 min. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35-45 mins. Everyone's ovens and/or attitudes may differ - so when the center of your meatloaf reaches 160 degrees (meat therm.), take her out to rest! And remember, if the loaf is too thick, it can double your cook time.
You might notice the oils around the meatloaf look very dark - almost burnt. Don't worry, your meatloaf will be just fine!
Serve up with some skin-on mashed potatoes, green beans...enjoy!