My parents always told us horror stories of the meatloaf they were forced to eat during childhood, so growing up I never had the joy of eating it. I actually didn’t even try meatloaf until I went to the Duplex Diner in Adams Morgan and I actually liked it! Recently, my Mom discovered a “gourmet” recipe in Chris Kimball’s cookbook and now we’re hooked.

What sets it apart is the meat, you don’t use just ground beef, but rather a combination of beef, pork and veal Along with that there’s a brown sugar and ketchup glaze, some fresh parsley and bacon on top (we use less than the recipe says and sometimes none). Also, don’t forget to serve with mashed potatoes, there’s no other way!


Brown Sugar – Ketchup Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar or white vinegar

Meat Loaf

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped medium
  • 2 medium cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or plain yogurt
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 2/3 cup Saltine crackers , crushed (about 16), or quick oatmeal, or 1 1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs (we use breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (we use a little less, just because I don’t like parsley much)
  • 6 – 8 ounces bacon , thin sliced, 8 to 12 slices, depending on loaf shape (we use either none at all or just a few slices laid over it, the bacon flavor can get kind of overwhelming and take away from the meat loaf-ie-ness deliciousness)


1. For the glaze: Mix all ingredients in small saucepan; set aside.

2. For the meat loaf: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.


3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, and milk or yogurt. Add egg mixture to meat in large bowl along with crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional milk or yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks.)


4. Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined (for easy cleanup) shallow baking pan. Brush with half the glaze, then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only bacon tip ends under loaf.


5. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly. Slice meat loaf and serve with extra glaze passed separately.


YUM! Way better than Grandma’s, sorry Doris.