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Pete's Healthy Hearty Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (top round or sirloin)
1 1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup chili/garlic paste (aka "Sambal Oelek" w/garlic there's a rooster on the label, but this is not Sriracha)
3 eggs, beaten
1 chopped green pepper
1 bag of baby carrots or 2 large carrots, chopped (optional)
4 stalks of celery, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp each)

1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup bbq sauce
6 slices of bacon

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

Add tablespoon of oil to frying pan and stir-fry the veggies on high. (Do it in batches... you want to fry not steam.) This will remove a lot of unwanted water from the veggies and give the onions a sweet taste. Set aside and let cool a few minutes. Meanwhile combine the beef and pork. Then add the ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, and eggs. Add the stir-fried veggies last. Season to taste with salt and pepper, mix well and then shape into a loaf. Place loaf in a roasting pan or 11 x 7 baking dish. (Sides should not be touching the pan/dish...)

Mix the tomato sauce with a couple tablespoons of your favorite bbq sauce. Rub or brush the sauce all over the loaf. (We dilute the BBQ sauce to prevent it from burning) Add bacon weave on top if desired. You should have plenty of left-over sauce. You can serve this with the meatloaf instead of ketchup.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 60 minutes more. (don't bother opening the oven, just reduce the heat and wait at least 45 minutes before you check on this. Even after this amount of time you'll probably need another 30 minutes.)

I use ricotta cheese instead of the traditional cottage cheese. This will make a ton of meat loaf, but it freezes and re-heats extremely well. Works great as an open-faced sandwich on an onion bun.

Original Source: Beyond Parsely (I modified it a bit... originally this was "Meat Loaf Burgandy")

Submitted by: Pete on April 23, 2010, 12:49 am

This recipe is included in 2 recipe books.
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June 6, 2011, 10:58 pm:

 It's deliciously hearty...the bacon is the ultimate decadent topping.... - Monique