Here in the Bay Area, winter has finally settled in and it's COLD! ~ queue the collective eye roll from everywhere with REAL winter weather, but it's all relative, right? ~ Chilly 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 had us feeling cozy and warm, because what could be better?
Well friends, turns out there is something better...or rather, a way to MASSIVELY improve on that comfy mental picture meatloaf brings to mind.
In a moment of angelic clarity, our path was clear. We pulled out or favorite classic recipe with a looong list of fillers like chopped vegetables, breadcrumbs and umami rich splashes of soy sauce, Worcestershire, ketchup and dijon, and 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 for the holidays, we then wrapped it in a glorious lattice of our Maple Sugar Small Batch Bacon, 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 bacon 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!
So there you have it folks. Cozy winter feels in one easy recipe fit for a weeknight dinner or a holiday party show piece!
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup diced onion
- 11/2 tbs minced garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1/2 lb ground bacon, broken into small pieces
- 6-12 bacon strips
- Preheat oven to 375ºF
- Heat oil on a skillet until shimmering, add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs, cooking until onion is soft.
- Let cool, then mix with the ground meats 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, careful not to compress the meat. It should remain slightly loose
- Wrap with bacon strips. The simplest way is to simply drape about 6 bacon strips crosswise, tucking them under at the edges. For something more showy, use all dozen strips to create a lattice*.
- Once wrapped, bake uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 135ºF, about 1hr
- Serve immediately!
*Here's a bacon weave tutorial we found on YouTube. HOWEVER, we found it easier 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.
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