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  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1/3 pound meaty, smoky bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 crisp apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup Calvados or brandy
  • 1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • About 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sage, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
For the Secret Sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup onion jam or onion marmalade
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup passata or ketchup


Serves: 4 to 6


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with oil; add bacon and render 2-3 minutes. Add apples, celery, onion, bay and salt, and cook to tender, 7-8 minutes. Add Calvados or brandy and cool completely; remove the bay leaf.  

In a large bowl, season beef with salt and pepper. Add the cooled bacon and vegetables, the egg, breadcrumbs, sage, thyme, parsley and allspice to the bowl mix well. 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and form a loaf about 4 inches across and 4 inches high. 
In small pot, warm stock and melt jam into it. Add Worcestershire and passata or ketchup and let thicken 3-5 minutes at a low bubble. 
Slather meatloaf with 1/3 of the sauce and bake 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven, tent with foil and bake another 35-45 minutes, or until internal temperature of 145°F. 
Serve with mashed potatoes (I like white sharp cheddar and nutmeg in mine) and a roasted or sautéed green vegetable, like green beans, with remaining secret sauce on the side.