Friday, March 27, 2009

Dad's Meatloaf and Potatoes Au Gratin, plus AWARDS!

This has been a very stressful week at work, and I'm also trying to get back into my fitness routine, so I am very behind on posts! Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish and Potatoes Au Gratin were for Tyler Florence Fridays last week, LOL!

DC has requested meatloaf several times and this is the first time I have got around to making it, because DS "hates" meatloaf. I can't get DS to understand that not all meatloaf is the same! Since it was just the 2 of us, I only made half a recipe, which gave nice dinner servings with some leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches. I'm giving the amounts for the full amount below.

These dishes were very easy to prepare, and really delicious. Tyler uses both ground pork as well as ground beef in his meatloaf, so it is very flavorful. The tomato relish adds a nice twist to plain old ketchup topping for the meatloaf, as well as helping to keep the meatloaf moist. And the smell is heavenly once it's in the oven with its little jacket of bacon.

Here are the ingredients:

Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish

For the Tomato Relish:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced (I used 2 for my half-recipe)
2 bayleaves
2 red peppers, finely diced
2 tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced (I used 1/2 can Rotel for my 1/2 recipe)
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 12 oz. bottle ketchup
1 T worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatloaf:
3 slices white bread, crusts removed,torn into chunks by hand
1/4 c. whole milk
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 eggs
leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 bacon slices

First, we make the tomato relish, because it goes into as well as on top of the meatloaf. It is very quick to prepare.
We heat our skillet with oil, and saute the onion and garlic and bayleaves together. Toss the chopped peppers in next, cooking until softened and fragrant.
I bet this is great with fresh summer tomatoes, but since I had half a can of Rotel sitting in the fridge that I wanted to use up, I substituted it for the fresh tomatoes. At this point you add the seasonings too, parsley, ketchup, worcestershire, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

This is my relish, after all the ingredients have been added. I love the bright colors!

Now on to the meatloaf!

Here are my ground sirloin and ground pork

Next you add the eggs, bread/milk, thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and 1 1/2 c. of the tomato relish. My relish was still pretty hot, so I used an ice water bath to cook it down before adding it to the bowl. Tyler says to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread, but there really wasn't any! Guess it all soaked in to the bread.

My meatloaf mixture:

Tyler next instructs you to make a free-form loaf on a greased cookie sheet.
I prefer to make meatloaf this way, rather than in a loaf pan. You get a higher ration of topping-covered crust to soft interior, plus it cooks faster.

We coat the top generously with the tomato relish. Tyler says use 1/2 c.
Now for the best part: bacon!! Lay the bacon slices lengthwise on the top pf the loaf.

It goes in a 350F oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I forgot to take a picture of the finished loaf, because we were very ready to eat! You can serve the meatloaf with more relish on it.

I made Tyler's Potatoes Gratin to go with the meatloaf. My friend Donna at My Tasty Treasures posted them a while ago and I have been dying to try them. This has to be the easiest-to-make scalloped potato type dish out there, and it's so good! You just mix everything up in the baking pan together. I used my food processor to slice the potatoes, so they came out nice and even, as well as much thinner than I could ever get them with a knife.

Potatoes Gratin
2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled and sliced paper thin
2 c. heavy cream (I only had 1 c. of cream and 1 of whole milk)
2 garlic cloves, split
leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 T. chopped chives
1 c. grated parmigiano reggiano
salt and freshly ground pepper

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then into the casserole dish. Flatten everything with a spatula. Now, you are supposed to bake the potatoes at 375 for 40 minutes, but my meatloaf was about 20 minutes away from being done, so I put them in the oven for the first 10 minutes, then microwaved them for 10 minutes, until the potatoes were tender. Then I popped them back into the oven hoping they would brown a little.

A little is about it! They are not so pretty, but extremely tasty. Using some milk in place of the cream did not seem to have an adverse effect on either the flavor or texture of the finished dish.

Wondering what to serve with these two glorious dishes, I rummaged around in the freezer and found some baby peas. The perfect retro-cool meal!

Now for some fun bloggy business! As mentioned in the title of this post, Kendra over at Homegrown Housewife received both the Friends Award

and the Excellent Blog award!

And I am really thrilled, honored, and excited she has passed them on to me! These awards mean a lot to me because Kendra is one of my best blogging buddies and her blog not only inspires me, I learn so many interesting things from reading it! Kendra is one of the people in our little corner of blogland that has welcomed me and encouraged me with my relatively new blog. Thank you, Kendra! You totally made my week!

Please do check out Kendra's blog if you haven't had a chance to visit. You are sure to find something delicious, funny, and uplifting there! Her other blog, Screams from My Front Porch, about life with her "three reckless children" is also sure to bring a smile to your face, so check it out too.

Both of these awards are supposed to be passed on-- There are so many wonderful blogs and bloggers I have met, it's hard to know who to pick! I will share the names of my co-awardees and partners in crime soon!

Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (Tyler Florence)

A moist, delicious meatloaf gets a special twist from homemade ...

See Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (Tyler Florence) on Key Ingredient.

Potatoes Gratin

Easy delicious weeknight version of potatoes gratin by Tyler Florence..

See Potatoes Gratin on Key Ingredient.


  1. Great meal, Karen!! I have yet to try his meatloaf, but the au gratin was so simple!! And tasty. Glad you liked it!Congrats onyour awards,you deserve them greatly!

  2. I love meatloaf and meatloaf sandwiches! I haven't made it in a long time, must go on the ever-growing list! The tomato relish is gorgeous. And Karen, congrats on your deserve them...u have a great blog.

  3. What a great looking meal! Every time I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, he always says meatloaf. I usually make Ina's turkey meatloaf recipe, I'll have to try this version.

  4. What a yummy, comforting meal! I have been wanting to try Tyler's meatloaf too. It looks delicious with the bacon on top!

  5. Ok seriously are after my little homegrown heart with meatloaf and potatoes! Looks fantastic!!!

  6. I love meatloaf and yours looks really good. I've missed you at my Fiesta lately.

  7. Meatloaf and potatoes au gratin are probably my all time childhood favorite. Thanks for posting.

  8. Wonderful meal! Love the bacon on the meatloaf - yum! Au gratin sounds just delicious!

  9. I always want to cook a really americam meatloaf.This recipe is very goog.
    Amélia from Portugal

  10. This looks great, it's been a while since I've made meatloaf but I think I'll have to try this one soon!

  11. Mmm, this meatloaf looks delicious! I know that it's a hit-or-miss dish with most people, BUT I am a HUGE meatloaf fan, so I can't wait to try out this recipe. And, of course, the potatoes-au-gratin look fabulous. Who could resist such a wonderful side dish?!

  12. Yum! I've made that meatloaf and it is awesome :) I love the relish on mashed potatoes too!


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