I noticed a video
on AOL of Tyler Florence demo'ing what he called
"one of the best recipes I've ever made in my life...
the pinnacle of meatloaf...
the Valhalla of meatloaf"
As George Will would say, Well.
Tyler credits the recipe to to his father. The recipe
has more detail than the video; AOL also has a step-by-step still photo demo
I was intrigued by the recipe because (a) the chunky relish looked interesting, and (b) I had two leftover red bell peppers, a pound of ground pork and a pound of ground chuck in the refrigerator. Reviewers on AOL were split; some thought it was an amazing meat loaf but others gave it very low marks.
Here's how it went down for me:
Starting the tomato relish:
Finishing the tomato relish:
Meat loaf mix:
Meat loaf ready to cook, with a cup of relish on top:
Removed from Egg:
I smoked over two chunks of hickory to internal 155ºF using an indirect setup with Egg stabilized at 350ºF dome.
The flavor was quite good but the meat loaf mix was very wet when formed and far too loose to hold shape free-form while cooking. I enjoyed the relish topping, although I chose to puree some of it in the blender to adjust consistency. Its level of sweetness approached cloying; it might be better to use a ketchup without HFCS. I rough-chopped the tomatoes and peppers because I wanted something chunky, but a dice might have worked better. The Egg’s hickory smoke was a total winner with this recipe.
Next time I might use less liquid, some structural support while cooking, or switch to bread crumbs (my usual choice) for the panade.
Definitely worth a try, although I'm not sure I agree with Tyler that it's the "Valhalla of meatloaf."