Recipe shared from Scott Peacock, Better Homes and Garden’s American Classics food expert. Scott Peacock is executive chef at Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, Ga., and was named Best Chef in the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2007.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet heat butter until melted and foaming. Add onions, mushrooms, and celery. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook 3 minutes, being careful not to brown.
2. Sprinkle thyme over onion mixture. Rub garlic and pinch of salt into paste; add garlic. Cook and stir until onions are tender and translucent. Stir in grated carrot; remove from heat. Cool completely. Meanwhile, soak bread in half-and-half. Lightly beat eggs.
3. In large mixing bowl combine ground meats, bacon, cooled vegetables, and bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle the 1 ¾ teaspoons salt and the pepper. Using hands, mix until well blended.
4. Turn mixture into rectangular baking dish. Using hands, shape into a 9 by 5 inch loaf. Make shallow indention around sides.
5. Ketchup Topping: Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar. Spoon over top of meat loaf. Bake on middle rack for 1 hour or until meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.