Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Bacon Makes Everything Better

Years ago I received a version of this recipe from a friend and have adapted it over the years to suit my kids as they are picky eaters. I had to reduce some of the recommended vegetables and saute the onions rather than putting them in raw but I think my version works as they do indeed eat it. That is no small accomplishment.

It does indeed start with the bacon. While meatloaf obviously consists of ground beef (and in this case also some ground pork), my first step is to fry up some bacon. The bacon strips are cut in half and then dipped in some brown sugar before frying commences.

I then use the same pan, without draining off the fat, to saute some finely diced onions. They caramelize pretty quickly with the fat and sugar residue in the pan.

Alas, we do have to drain these onions. I put them in a little mesh basket to get rid of the extra grease.

I then take the onions, along with most of the other ingredients (ground beef, ground pork, diced peppers, bread crumbs, a slightly beaten egg, grated Parmesan cheese, BBQ rub, Worcestershire sauce, and half and half) and mix them all together in a bowl.

Once the ingredients are incorporated I shape the mixture into a loaf on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been lined with two layers of foil. Less mess to clean up later.

Now is where the fun starts. Spread BBQ sauce on the loaf and then cover with the strips of bacon. I use the original flavor of Sweet Baby Ray's for this recipe.

The loaf is put into a 350 degree preheated oven for between an hour and an hour and ten minutes. The trick is to get the bacon crispy without burning it.

The end result is a beautiful meatloaf that is really delicious.

Here is my version of the recipe that has been adapted over the years.

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf


5 strips of bacon - I typically purchase it as platter bacon from the butcher
2 teaspoons brow sugar
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion (sauteed in the bacon grease)
1/4 cup of finely chopped red, yellow or orange pepper
2/3 cup fine bread crumbs preferably unflavored (I have used Panko in a pinch)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of BBQ Rub Seasoning (I used Trader Joe's for this batch)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (Soy will also work if you don't have any in your pantry)
1/3 cup of Half and Half
1/2 cup of BBQ Sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's)



Cut bacon strips in half crosswise and coat with the brown sugar. In a large skillet, fry the bacon for about two or three minutes to render the excess fat. After removing the bacon, add the onions and fry until soft and translucent. Drain onions and reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foiled and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients with the exception of the bacon and BBQ sauce. Shape the mixture into a loaf on the lined cookie sheet.

Spread BBQ sauce on the loaf and cover with the bacon strips.

Bake for about an hour, or an hour and ten minutes, until bacon is crispy. Remove from oven and let rest for ten minutes before slicing or moving on to another plate.

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