Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cook's Illustrated Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

This was the only new thing we had this past week, so I probably won't bother posting the other recipes. I love meatloaf. My mom makes a version similar to this with bacon on the top, only hers has significantly less bacon. My brother and I would always fight over who got to eat the bacon off the top of the meatloaf because it was so good with the ketchup-y sauce on it. This recipe, though, solves that problem by having bacon go cross-ways on it instead of long-ways. And, yes, those are both official terms.

I had mentioned recently the Best Of Cook's Illustrated magazine I got recently at Costco. This was in it, and I'd been dying to try it. I recently bought a ton of ground beef (okay, not literally a ton, but it was six pounds which is quite a bit) and figured this was a good time to make it. Plus I could get it assembled during naptime and then just throw it in the oven when it was time for dinner. Thankfully I found it typed out online already because you know how I hate to type out recipes if I don't have to.

Cook's Illustrated Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Brown Sugar - Ketchup Glaze
1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar or white vinegar

Meat Loaf
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 large eggs
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.


I used oatmeal for this because it's what I had. I buy instant oatmeal packets at Costco, but none of us like the plain ones. This was a great use for them--two packets was just the right amount! Also, I just used two pounds of ground beef because, again, it's what I had. I ended up brushing some more glaze on top of the bacon when there was about 20 minutes of cooking time left. Oh, and I wrapped a cooling rack in foil and poked some holes in it and placed that on a cookie sheet with the meatloaf on top of the cooling rack. In hindsight I should have covered the cookie sheet as well because it was a pain to clean off the spillage.

This was REALLY good! Like I said, I love meatloaf, so I was really excited to have this. We had leftover mashed potatoes with it from Thanksgiving #2 and some cooked carrots. I will definitely make this again, and laying the bacon cross-wise made sure that everyone had some bacon on their piece and no fights had to take place because of it. And trust me, in this house, a fight would break out over bacon!

Honestly, as much as I liked this, I view meatloaf strictly as a means to have meatloaf sandwiches the next day. As much as I love meatloaf, I love meatloaf sandwiches even more. And that's exactly what we had for dinner the next night. :)


daniel said...

Thanks for posting this recipe-after years of searching for a good meatloaf recipe, I found this in one of the Cook's Illustrated "Best Recipes" cookbook, and everyone in my family loves it, especially those who were subjected to my Mom's meatloaf, which was awful. I lost everything in the last year, including my recipes, including my Mom, my house and my brother. When I tried to recover this recipe from Cook's Illustrated, they wanted to charge me and I have no money-been out of work for a year. Thanks again for posting this...makes me feel like I haven't lost everything!

DP Striley said...

My husband has been making this recipe for the last several years, and it has been roundly applauded by everyone who's had it.

Thanks for posting the recipe as we left our copy of the C.I. Best Recipes down in Florida. Now we won't have disappointed family members!