Everyone has their go-to version of meat loaf, and everyone thinks theirs is the best. I'm no different. But in case you are still looking for yours, this is the answer to your prayers. I love to make sure I have some of this for leftover meat loaf sandwiches that I serve on toast with Heinz chile sauce.
The Real Deal Meat loaf
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground veal
1 lb. ground pork
3 T. butter
1 large onion minced
3 ribs minced celery
1 c. blanched and drained spinach . . . frozen is OK, but be sure that it is squeezed well to remove excess moisture.
2 pinches fresh grated nutmeg
1 c. chopped tomatoes . . . canned is OK.
2 c. dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. sherry
1/3 c. heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
4 T. tomato paste, softened in a few teaspoons of water
2 slices bacon
Place the butter into a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the onion, spinach, celery, nutmeg, and tomato. Cook until soft and glassy.
Add the sherry and cook until dry. Cool, then pulse for 4 or 5 seconds in a food processor. You don't want to purée it, but you want to be sure there are no big chunks. Place into a bowl and add the cream, bread crumbs, eggs, and meats. Combine well and season with salt and pepper.
Place one slice of bacon inside a large rectangular loaf pan. Add the meat mixture all at once and spread tomato paste mixture over the top of the meatloaf. Place a piece of bacon over the top of the paste. Put the loaf pan into a 325-degree oven for about 2 hours.
Remove and cool for 15 minutes before unmolding, slicing, and serving.