Welcome to Meat Loaf Week at Tasting Table! Honor your favorite comfort food with our best meat loaf recipes and ideas all week long.
If you haven’t already guessed, we love meat loaf here at TT. A classic slice served over mashed potatoes had always made us perfectly content . . . until our loaf obsession reached the next level: We are in awe over the meat loaf sandwich at Eugene & Co. in Brooklyn. Spiced with cayenne and chili powder, this meat loaf is sliced and served on ciabatta with bacon, tomato jam, garlic aioli and peppery arugula for a hefty sandwich that ruins all other brunch options forever.
“The great thing about meat loaf is that it's a comfort for people to enjoy at all times of day—not just dinner,” Jeff Shields, chef of Eugene & Co., tells us. “It's the quintessential home-cooked meal, conjuring memories of growing up, even if it wasn't your favorite of Mom's recipes.” Shields says that though he didn’t love having meat loaf for dinner, witnessing his father’s ritual of taking meat loaf sandwiches to work made him appreciate the dish in all its forms.
The key to building the perfect meat loaf sandwich is getting a clean slice to stack up. We encourage patience in letting the meat loaf cool before slicing. You can even make the meat loaf the day before, slice and then flash-heat the slices in a hot oven before throwing them on your sandwich.
Meat Loaf Sandwich with Tomato Jam
Recipe adapted from Jeff Shields, Eugene & Co., Brooklyn, NY
Yield: 8 sandwiches
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
For the Meat Loaf:
⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
⅔ cup whole milk
2½ pounds ground beef
⅔ cup chopped parsley
2½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, plus more for greasing
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
For the Tomato Jam:
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and tomatoes crushed by hand
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Aioli:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 egg yolks
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup grapeseed oil
For the Sandwich:
8 ciabatta rolls, halved and toasted
16 slices cooked bacon
Arugula leaves, for topping
1. Make the meat loaf: Preheat the oven to 350º. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and milk, and let sit until the milk is absorbed, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining meat loaf ingredients.
2. Add the soaked bread crumbs and, using your hands, knead until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until the center reads 150º on an instant-read thermometer, 1 hour. Let rest for 20 minutes before removing from the pan and cutting into ½-inch slices.
3. Meanwhile, make the tomato jam: In a medium saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mustard seeds, cumin and curry powder, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
4. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, then add the tomatoes, oregano and sugar. Cook until the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Make the aioli: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, egg yolks and salt. While whisking, slowly stream in the grapeseed oil until a thick aioli emulsifies. Check for seasoning, then set aside.
6. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread aioli on both sides of each ciabatta roll. Top each with 2 slices of meat loaf, 2 slices of bacon, some tomato jam and a handful of arugula. Close each sandwich and serve.