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Grandma Zimmern's Meatloaf

Total 4 hours
Active 30 mins
  • Meatloaf
    • 3 ribs celery, minced
    • 1 large yellow onion, minced
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes and their juices
    • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    • 1/4 cup sherry wine
    • 2 pinches freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 pound ground pork
    • 1 pound ground veal
    • 2 cups breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 2 large eggs, beaten
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 slices bacon
    • 4 tablespoons tomato paste, thinned with a smidge of water
  • Gravy
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
    • 3 cups homemade rich dark beef stock
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1. To make the meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 325°F.
    2. Place the celery and onion in a food processor and pulse.
    3. Place the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring, until soft and glassy. Next, add the tomatoes, spinach, sherry, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquids are all evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, pork and veal. Add the breadcrumbs, heavy cream, eggs, and all of the sautéed vegetables. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and some pepper. Mix well to combine.
    5. Place one whole slice of the bacon in the bottom of a large rectangular loaf pan. Add the meats all in one motion, making sure to create a rounded, smooth top. Spread the tomato paste mixture over the top. Place the second slice of bacon over the top. Set the loaf pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    6. Bake the meatloaf for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool for 25 to 30 minutes.
    7. To make the gravy: Meanwhile, place the butter in a 3-quart pot over medium heat. Add the flour. Cook together, stirring, until lightly colored and aromatic, about a few minutes. Add the thyme and shallots and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about a few more minutes. Add the beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat down to maintain that simmer. Cook until reduced by half. You should have about 12 ounces of delicious gravy and the right texture. Season with salt and pepper, then strain.
    8. Slice the meatloaf and serve with the gravy.

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