Let me preface this by saying that my father is an excellent cook. I have just as many fond memories from my childhood of my father’s cooking as of my mother’s. Even now, it is my father who is eager to fill the house with our favorite meals when we take a trip home. He’s got an instinct for delicious comfort food which can satisfy both the belly and the soul.
That being said, there was once a meatloaf that he will never live down; the meatloaf that even the raccoons wouldn’t eat. I can’t even remember what was wrong with it. I remember tomatoes and bacon. My father insisted it was delicious, but the decision was otherwise unanimous. The meatloaf was awful. So awful that even my frugal family decided to put the leftovers on the porch for whatever fuzzy woodland creature was looking for a meal. Sure enough, the meatloaf was still sitting on the porch in the morning; undeniable proof that the meatloaf was truly inedible.
The memory of that particular meatloaf made a strong case against meatloaf in my mind. For that reason, it’s a dish I rarely make. But, having found myself with a freezer full of ground beef (part of my attempt at trimming our grocery bill), I decided a meatloaf was in order. In my rendition, I added a bit of sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and melty provolone. Drizzle with fresh basil pesto and serve aside smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus for a delicious, satisfying meal.
Sorry raccoons…there aren’t going to be any leftovers for you this time!!
Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4-5 slices provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, onion, and salt until well blended. (Get your hands in there to really blend it!) Then, form the mixture into a thick rectangle (about 8×10 inches). Place the slices of provolone cheese in a thin layer on the rectangle, leaving about a 1″ edge around the cheese on all sides. Roll the meat into a log, around the cheese. Then, thoroughly seal all of the edges and form the meat into a rectangular loaf. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until the center has reached 165 degrees, as measured with an instant-read meat thermometer.