Three Meat Meat Loaf

January 25, 2024

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Three Meat Meat Loaf

My favorite way to make meat loaf is based on a Mark Bittman recipe in his How to Cook Everything.  It’s a free form loaf, that is, one that the cook shapes rather than one shaped by a loaf pan.  I bake it in a large cast iron skillet.  As Bittman says, the meat loaf turns out crustier and tastier.  I like using three meats in equal portions:  ground beef, ground pork, and ground lamb, and I top the loaf with several strips of bacon, all of which are usually available at our farmers’ market.

The Recipe


  • ½ cup bread crumbs

  • ½ cup milk

  • 2 pounds mixed ground meats

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley leaves

  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 small onion, minced

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves of 1 pinch dried sage leaves

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 slices bacon (optional but good, especially if the meat is lean)


  1. Heat the oven to 350F. Soak the bread crumbs in the milk until the milk is absorbed, about five minutes.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients except the bacon.
  3. Shape the meat into a loaf in a baking pan; top with the bacon if you like.
  4. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, basting occasionally with the rendered pan juices.
  5. When done, the meat loaf will be browned lightly and firm.
  6. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read 160 F.

    This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!