Preface: This is an incredibly flavorful and intensely delicious meatloaf recipe. As outlined in my book, The Fallacy of the Calorie: Why the Modern Western Diet Is Killing Us and How to Stop It; it is the choice of high-quality ingredients that elevate this from merely tasty to extraordinarily healthful as well. Where possible, ingredients should be organic. The beef was grass-fed and pasture-raised and the pork (and the bacon) in this recipe was from a heritage breed and comparably produced. Kefir is a pungently appealing fermented milk product, but if you can’t find it you can substitute buttermilk or even heavy cream in a pinch. Bulgur wheat comes in many forms so, for reasons outlined in the book, be sure to purchase bulgur derived from durum wheat. This is the preferred variety that is found in many brands from the Middle East and available in Middle Eastern groceries. Bulgur wheat adds a delicate nuttiness and pleasant chew to the meatloaf while replacing traditional breadcrumbs as a binder.
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- ½ bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 tsp. garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp. chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. chopped oregano
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup Kefir (may use buttermilk as a substitute)
- ½ cup Bulgur wheat (hydrated in ½ cup water)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork seasoned with 1 tsp. each of ground cumin and coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons plus 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices bacon, crumbled (optional)
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 2 tsp. shallot, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs. Sherry vinegar
- 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce; reserve ¼ cup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium skillet over medium heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and bell pepper, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano and parsley and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl add the cooled vegetable mixture, eggs, reserved tomato sauce, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, kefir, bulgur, ground beef, ground pork, bacon (if desired), salt and pepper. Mix until combined, do not compact the mixture. Form the mixture into a loaf and place in a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.
In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce and vinegar. Over medium-high heat bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 5-8 minutes.
Pour the thickened sauce over the top of the uncooked meatloaf and bake for 1 hour. Slice and serve over mixed root mash (the mash pictured is a combination of potatoes, turnips, and celeriac) and top with gravy, if desired.