Cooler weather puts us in the mood for comfort food, so we decided to take on a classic that's kept the shivers at bay for generations: meatloaf. Just the thought of those rich savory slices nestled into hot buttered mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy have us feeling all cozy and warm because what could be better?
Turns out there is something better...or rather, a way to MASSIVELY improve on the comfy cozy mental picture that meatloaf brings to mind. We started with our favorite classic meatloaf recipe that had a looong list of fillers like chopped vegetables, breadcrumbs and rich splashes of soy sauce, Worcestershire, ketchup and Dijon. And, we stripped it down to the essentials: ground pork & beef, onion, garlic and fresh herbs, then hit it with a generous dose of Ground Bacon. Because we like to get a little showy—and this is especially good for holiday feast show-off-i-ness—we wrapped the loaf in a glorious lattice of our Maple Sugar Small Batch Bacon Strips, and baked the whole thing to a perfect medium rare.
The result? A much simpler recipe that was quick to prep with fewer ingredients. The Ground Bacon provided the perfect umami tone and fat content that grocery store ground meats usually lack, making for an overall juicier and more flavorful meal. The Maple Sugar Small Batch Bacon Strips lattice, in addition to looking COMPLETELY AWESOME, replaced the sweetness of the usual glaze, adding another layer of smoky goodness and basting the roast throughout the cook. While the lattice is optional, we highly recommend it! We found it easiest to create the bacon lattice by weaving the bacon strips directly on the meatloaf. We started with draping 6 strips across, and then weaving in the rest lengthwise.
(*We also found a bacon weave tutorial we found on YouTube, to provide additional visual aid.) So, without further adieu, enjoy our take on cozy winter feels in one easy recipe fit for a weeknight dinner or a holiday party show piece!
Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
A rich and satisfying meatloaf incorporating ground bacon and wrapped with a bacon lattice.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Heat oil on a skillet until it shimmers.
Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs, cooking until onion is soft.
Let cool, then mix with the ground beef, ground pork and Ground Bacon in a large bowl.
Fry a small piece on your skillet to check seasoning and correct if needed
On a lined baking sheet, shape the mixture into a large rectangle, being careful not to compress the meat. It should remain slightly loose
Wrap with bacon strips. The simplest way is to simply drape about 6 Maple Sugar Small Batch Bacon Strips crosswise, tucking them under at the edges. For something more showy, use all 12 strips to create a lattice*.
Once wrapped, bake uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 135ºF, about 1hr.
Serve, devour and enjoy immediately!