Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

We are inspired by one of our cookbooks and the weather turning chillier to make a meatloaf. Robin’s grandmother always made meatloaf with all beef and would sometimes layer in strips of bell pepper for contrast and flavor. Chris is not a bell pepper lover, so instead we bake the meatloaf on top of bell pepper slices. We make the meatloaf free-form with a glaze and bacon wrapped around, to get a nice crispy, flavorful exterior.

Servings and Times

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hours

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We start off by chopping our onion finely, yielding ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons. We put our sauté pan on medium heat and add the oil. We add the onions and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, we mince our garlic cloves, sprinkled with a little salt. When the onions are softened, which takes about 5 minutes, we add the garlic and cook for another minute. We dump the mixture onto a plate and spread to cool. We quick chill in the fridge while we get the rest of the ingredients ready.

Next, we make the glaze. We mix the ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar in a medium bowl. We set this aside.

To make the bread crumbs, we tear the slices of bread into small pieces and add to the blender. We grind up, making about a cup of fresh bread crumbs. We only use ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons – the rest the kids eat. We mix our fresh bread crumbs with the parsley and thyme in a medium bowl.

We pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In another medium bowl, we mix the egg with a teaspoon of salt, freshly ground black pepper, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of Tabasco, and milk.

In a large bowl we add the meat, reserving a small piece to make a mini-meatloaf for the kids. We add the egg mixture to the meat along with the herbed fresh bread crumbs, the cooked onions and garlic in the fridge, and then mix well with a fork until nicely blended. The mixture is nicely moistened so we do not need to add any more milk.

We turn the mixture out onto a piece of wax paper and, with wet hands, pat into a loaf 9 by 4 inches. We make a mini-meatloaf for the kids, without the filler ingredients since they are particular about onions and herbs. We wash our hands well.

We cover a wire rack with foil and prick in several places with a fork to let out the oil. We place the rack in a large sheet pan which is also lined with foil. We cut the pepper crosswise into slices, removing the ribs and seeds. We spread the slices, overlapping, onto the rack. We put the meatloaf on top, and the mini-loaf next to it on the rack. We wash our hands again. We brush both loaves with the glaze and then arrange 6 pieces of bacon on top of the large loaf, crosswise, and 1 piece of bacon on top of the mini-loaf lengthwise, tucking them under loaves.

We bake the large loaf until bacon is crisp and is cooked through, 160 degrees, about 1 hour and 10 minutes in our oven. The mini-meatloaf only takes about 40 minutes. We cool each for 10 minutes and enjoy.

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