It's hard to believe I'm never blogged about my meatloaf recipe. Meatloaf is the quintessential comfort food, and there's nothing better than a leftover meatloaf sandwich. This recipe is also special to me because it is one of the first meals I made for R after we moved in together and I finally had my own kitchen. It's from Cook's Illustrated (of course) and it uses not one, not two, but three ground meats (beef, veal and pork). I had the first two from the meat CSA, but unfortunately had to go get the ground pork from the supermarket.
The two things that make this recipe different? The first is that you shape the loaf free form on a shallow baking sheet, instead of a loaf pan. This allows more browning and the meat doesn't stew in it's own juices. The second is you wrap the whole baby in bacon. The fat from the bacon renders imparts a lovely smoky flavor to the meat loaf. Plus, Bacon makes everything better, right? Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and you are in comfort food bliss.
Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar - Ketchup Glaze
|Brown Sugar - Ketchup Glaze|
|1/2||cup ketchup or chili sauce|
|4||tablespoons brown sugar|
|4||teaspoons cider vinegar or white vinegar|
|2||teaspoons vegetable oil|
|1||medium onion , chopped medium|
|2||medium cloves garlic , minced|
|1/2||teaspoon dried thyme|
|1||teaspoon table salt|
|1/2||teaspoon ground black pepper|
|2||teaspoons Dijon mustard|
|2||teaspoons Worcestershire sauce|
|1/4||teaspoon hot pepper sauce|
|1/2||cup whole milk or plain yogurt|
|1||pound ground beef chuck|
|1/2||pound ground pork|
|1/2||pound ground veal|
|2/3||cup Saltine crackers , crushed (about 16), or quick oatmeal, or 1 1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs|
|1/3||cup minced fresh parsley leaves|
|6 - 8||ounces bacon , thin sliced (8 to 12 slices, depending on loaf shape)|
1. For the glaze: Mix all ingredients in small saucepan; set aside.
2. For the meat loaf: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, and milk or yogurt. Add egg mixture to meat in large bowl along with crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional milk or yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks.)
4. Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined (for easy cleanup) shallow baking pan. Brush with half the glaze, then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only bacon tip ends under loaf, (see illustration 1, below).
5. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly. Slice meat loaf and serve with extra glaze passed separately.