A classic, old-fashioned favorite that never goes out of style. Easy enough for weeknight meals and delicious enough for company! This recipe combines a sautéed vegetable with two ground meats for an exceptional loaf.
Preheat oven to 350°F, place oven rack in the middle position and line a baking sheet with non-stick foil. Set aside.
Note: If using plain foil paper, grease with non-stick cooking spray for easy release.
In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine 1 1/2 pounds of ground sirloin beef with 3/4 pound of mild ground Italian sausage (no casing) or lean ground pork. Set aside.
Take 3-4 slices of loaf bread, trim the brown edges, and pulse a few times in a food processor until you have bread crumbs. Set aside.
Add 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter to a medium skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the onion, celery and carrot until the onion becomes translucent and the carrot softens, about 7-10 minutes. Stir occasionally as not to burn the vegetables.
Reduce the heat to medium and add minced garlic and green scallion. Sauté until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5-6 minutes more, stirring frequently as not to burn the garlic.
If using mild Italian sausage, add 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt; if using lean ground pork, add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and combine with the vegetables.
Add a generous ⅓ cup of ketchup and sauté for a few minutes to cook the ketchup slightly. Turn the heat off and allow the vegetables to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a food processor and blitzing the vegetables.
Add the pureed vegetables to the meat mixture along with 2 extra large eggs, ¼ cup of chopped parsley and 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs. Combine well with a fork.
Dump the meat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form into a 5X10 inch loaf. Generously drizzle enough ketchup to coat the top of the loaf.
Bake at 350°F for an hour or until a meat thermometer registers 155°F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.
FREEZING MEAT MIXTURE Place the meat mixture into a freezer safe plastic bag or container and freeze meat up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then shape, top with ketchup and bake accordingly.
NO FOOD PROCESSOR, NO PROBLEM If you don't have a food processor, simply mince all the vegetables so they "disappear" into the meat while baking.
(1) Depending on the size of the available vegetables, you may want to increase the quantity. If you can't find a large carrot, use 2-3 smaller ones.
(2) Don't use regular table salt. Diamond kosher salt is less salty than regular table salt.
(3) I like to use plastic wrap to help me shape the loaf, especially the edges and corners.