Beef, Pork, and Barley Meatloaf

There are not many dishes that shout “COMFORT!” much like meatloaf, are there? When the damp and cool fall weather penetrates your bulkiest sweater and runs a chill down your arms, you know it’s time to eat something warm and nourishing. Hearty soups fit the bill, as does a roast chicken. But meatloaf, that forgotten dish your mom used to make you eat on cool weeknights, can really warm you up, from your tummy all the way down to your toes. I usually make meatloaf with just meat, but I wanted to try something new, inspired slightly by the granddaddy of all meatloaves: the haggis. Much like haggis, I have bulked up this meatloaf with barley, a delicious addition which is rich in nutrients. You can omit it, but I feel like it gives the meatloaf an interesting consistency (not to mention lowering the cost per person)!

Ingredients

1 lb                         ground beef
3/4 lb                    ground pork
1 cup                     barley, soaked in water for 2 hours
1/2                         red onion, finely chopped
2 slices                  sandwich bread, diced
1/4 cup                 milk
1                             egg, whisked
2 tbsp                    HP sauce
2 tbsp                    Montreal steak spice
to taste                 salt and pepper
1/4 cup                 BBQ sauce

Method:

1) Bring a pot of water to a boil over a high heat. Drain the soaked barley and cook in the booking water until tender and fully cooked, about 45 minutes. Drain and cool.

2) Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3) In a small bowl, toss the bread with the milk. Let the bread soak up the milk (about five minutes), before mashing the bread into a paste.

4) In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the ground beef, ground pork, barley, egg, bread paste, HP Sauce, and Montreal steak spice. Season to taste. To check the flavour, cook a small tablespoon of the mixture in a pan or a microwave. Adjust the seasoning in necessary.

5) Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Fill the loaf pan with the meat and barley mixture. Spoon 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce on the top and spread it over the surface. Cover the loaf with aluminum foil. 

6) Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Place the loaf pan into a larger roasting pan, then pour the hot water into the roasting pan. This creates a "water bath", and the meatloaf will cook more evenly because of this. Place the roasting pan in the center of the hot oven, and bake for 1.5 hours or, using an internal thermometer to test, until the center of the loaf is 160°F. Take the loaf out of the oven and turn the heat up to 400°F. 

7) Remove the aluminum foil and pour the rest of the BBQ sauce on top of the meat loaf. Spread the sauce to cover the meatloaf, then put it back into the oven for ten minutes, or until the crust is caramelized.

8) Cool slightly, slice, and enjoy!