Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

A little over a week ago my Feb/March issue of Fine Cooking magazine arrived. Cover pictures need to catch your attention and boy did they ever manage that with this one. A picture of bacon wrapped meatloaf graces their cover. Amazing. I mean who would ever think to do something like that? I sure never had. Have you? I immediately took a picture with my phone and sent it to the Mr, he was very approving of such an idea.

There’s more options than just bacon wrapped meatloaf though! Both in the magazine and on their website they allow you to create your own version with different meat options, vegetables, other mix-ins such as various cheeses, herbs, spices and liquids such as beer or wine. It’s a pretty neat feature that they seem to do with a new item every so often. I knew I wanted to make a bacon wrapped meatloaf. I mean come on, after seeing the cover I couldn’t resist! But then the decision was what to add in. Even the meats didn’t have to be the standard run of the mill meatloaf variety. So much fun!

My personal variety ended up having a nice spicy kick to it, which as always can be toned down or cut out completely. And of course, it was wrapped in bacon. I practically used an entire package of bacon! Crazy but boy did the house smell incredible! Due to my fattier meat choice and the obvious greasy fatty bacon, the meatloaf sat and cooked in a hot greasy liquid. The only issue that created was carefully removing the tray from the oven and also removing the cooked meatloaf from the pan. Honestly it wasn’t that big of a deal, just remember to be careful and not have children or little furballs running around nearby when you’re dealing with this particular dish. The meatloaf turned out to be moist and spicy, very different from any other I’ve made before. It’s a definite winner.

I highly recommend making this. It’d be great for a weeks worth of lunches or a small dinner party. One meatloaf should serve 8-12 depending on the thickness of your slices.

Yield: 1 meatloaf

Cook Time: 1 hour

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

The ultimate meatloaf; perfectly moist, spicy and wrapped in bacon.

Ingredients:

1/2C onion
1/2C bell pepper, any color
1/2C mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
2tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 - 1 1/2C seasoned breadcrumbs
1C milk
3/4lb sausage (I used hot sausage)
1 1/4lb beef (I used meatloaf mix instead which consists of beef, veal and pork)
2 eggs
1/2C Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
pkg bacon strips (10-12)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. I trimmed mine to fit the pan, but that isn't necessary.

Prepare veggies by chopping onion, mushrooms and bell pepper. Mince garlic. remember everything will shrink a bit when you saute it so chop the veggies accordingly. You don't want them too large or too small. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook veggies until they are tender and the onions are traslucent. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. This is the bowl you'll be mixing the entire meatloaf in, so make sure it's large enough.

Add in breadcrumbs and milk, mix well. If using sausage links, remove casings. Add all meat and eggs to bowl. Gently mix without compacting. Sprinkle with cheese and seasonings including the optional red pepper flakes. I used a full teaspoon but less can be used or none at all. It's your call. Get in there with your hands and mix well.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Form a 10x4" log, roughly.

Starting at one end, begin laying bacon over the meatloaf log in a diagonal pattern. Overlap each piece slightly to allow for any shrinkage that may occure when the bacon cooks. Be sure to leave 1/2" overhang on all sides. After covering the entire meatloaf, carefully fold bacon underneath the edges.

Bake on the middle rack for 50-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 when inserted into the center of the meatloaf. Broil for an additional 3 minutes to crisp up the bacon. Do not leave it in the oven waiting for the bacon to look super crispy, it will be overdone when you pull it out as bacon continues to cook after being removed from the oven.

Cool slightly. Using two large spatulas (I used grilling spatulas because they're so much bigger than the traditional kitchen variety), carefully transfer to a second parchment lined baking sheet or serving platter to cool for at least 10 minutes. Cut into 1/2 - 1" pieces with a serrated knife.

Recipe source: Fine Cooking