SERVES 8 TO 10
Put the onions in 1 or 2 large skillets with enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and caramelized to a deep brown color, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. In the same way, cook the bell peppers for about 15 minutes and then the mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Add both to the bowl with the onions and let the mixture cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add the remaining meatloaf ingredients to the bowl and mix well with clean hands. Shape into a loaf and place in a pan only slightly larger than the loaf, with ½ to ¾ inch clearance all around. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, stir together the ketchup and hoisin for the glaze, and spoon it evenly over the meatloaf. Then, return it to the oven for the final 20 minutes of cooking. Leave at room temperature to settle for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
This recipe can also be used to make outstanding meatballs. Shape the mixture, excluding the glaze, into 1½-inch balls and arrange close together in a baking dish. Cook in a preheated 375°F oven for 40 minutes. Then, add the meatballs to your favorite marinara sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes.
If you think you’ve had the best meatloaf ever, you haven’t yet tried this amazing recipe, which may be my most absolute favorite in this book. Jeb Blaugrund is an extraordinary cook whose passion for good food traces back to his father, an amazing cook in his own right. While in college, Jeb worked in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant, where he honed his skills. I loved watching him work so professionally and effortlessly in his kitchen in Sewickley when he presented his amazing meatloaf during a five-course feast.
4 pounds mixed ground beef, veal, and pork
2 large Vidalia or other sweet onions, cut into thin slivers
2 red bell peppers, halved, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin slivers
20 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
5 large eggs, beaten
4 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup freshly grated Asiago or Romano cheese
¾ cup Heinz Ketchup
¾ cup good-quality bottled barbecue sauce
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup soy sauce
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
2 tablespoons sea salt
Olive oil, for cooking vegetables
½ cup Heinz Ketchup
¼ cup bottled hoisin sauce