1 egg, or the equivalent of 1 egg in egg substitute, IE, Egg Beaters, slightly beaten
1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
½ small green pepper, or ¼ each green and sweet red or yellow pepper, or a combination of all, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 cup tomato-base chili sauce or salsa of choice, divided
½ cup fine breadcrumbs
½ cup chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
2 to 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon finely snipped fresh thyme leaves, or ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon finely snipped fresh oregano leaves, or ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon finely snipped fresh basil leaves, or ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried basil (optional)
Several drops hot pepper sauce or several grains cayenne pepper or to taste
Pinch of hot dry mustard (optional)
Salt or seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper or seasoned pepper to taste
Sprigs of fresh thyme, oregano, and basil for garnish
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except ½ cup of the chili sauce or salsa, mixing well. Form meat mixture into a loaf about 8 inches long. Place two long sheets heavy-duty aluminum together; arrange meat loaf in center of foil, fold foil, and seal tightly. Place meat packet on highest level of charcoal or gas barbecue grill over slow charcoal coals (very ash gray and glowing) (see note) or low to medium setting of gas grill. Cook 1 hour, turning meat packet every 10 to 15 minutes. During last 10 minutes of grilling, open foil and grill uncovered. Spoon remaining ½ cup chili sauce or salsa over meat loaf during last 10 minutes of grilling, if desired. Or pass remaining chili sauce or salsa, warmed, in a sauceboat to spoon over each portion. To serve, arrange on a warmed platter, cut into slices, and garnish with sprigs of thyme, oregano, and basil.
Note: May use a combination of ground fresh pork, ground beef and ground veal, if desired. May omit ground beef; use 2 pounds ground uncooked fresh or thawed frozen chicken or turkey, if desired.
Reduce breadcrumbs to ¼ cup, if using ground turkey.
Note: May need to add more charcoal during grilling process; warm briquettes at outside perimeter of grill before adding to hot coals.
Oven Method: Place meat loaf in a 12 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan or small roasting pan; cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 50 minutes. Uncover, spoon remaining chili sauce or salsa over meat loaf and continue baking for 10 minutes. Serve as previously directed.