Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

  • Meatloaf.  Bland, boring, predictable.  Until you throw a little (actually, a lot) of bacon on top of it, and then it's suddenly delicious!

    The original recipe is by Wolfgang Puck, but I made some changes... then threw it on the grill.

    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and diced
    1/2 pound mushrooms, finely chopped
    6 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (tabasco or something of that nature)
    2 pounds lean ground beef
    1 pound ground pork
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1-2 packages smoked bacon
    In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Sauté the onion until translucent.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook over medium heat until they begin to color, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the cream, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Add the beef and pork to the bowl.  Stir in the egg and hot sauce and mix until the ingredients are combined.

    Line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with bacon slices (I used a larger pan because I couldn't find my loaf pans...) slightly overlapping, with the ends hanging over the edges.  Add the meat mixture to the pan, patting it down till smooth. Fold the ends of the bacon strips over the meat mixture to enclose it completely.  Cover the loaf with aluminum foil.

    Bake in the oven at 350 for about 1 hour. Remove the foil and drain as much grease as possible from the bottom of the pan.  Let it cool for about 15 minutes, just long enough that it will be safe to remove from the pan. 

    Preheat the grill to medium high.  Remove the meatloaf from the pan and, if you're brave, set it on the grill!  Be careful - the bacon grease will most likely catch on fire.
    My meatloaf was unnecessarily enormous, and extremely flammable, so it caught on fire quite frequently.  At one point, I was standing over what appeared to be a meatloaf bonfire.  Meanwhile, as usual, I happened to be grilling after midnight in the middle of the week, so I was a bit concerned that a neighbor might come out and complain (or call a fire truck!).

    As a lover of grilled meats, I was patient and let the flames go out, and was richly rewarded when the meatloaf turned out perfectly cooked.  Tender on the inside, crispy bacon on the outside!  What more could a girl who had just endangered the lives of the every single person in the building hope for?

    The meatloaf was on the grill for about 15 minutes total - it should be cooked to around 165 degrees.  Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Then slice and enjoy!

    Tips - I made this for a friend once, and they loved it. I decided to make it again but thought I could cut down on the fat by cooking the bacon first, draining the fat, then wrapping the meatloaf.  The result?  My friend asked, "what did you different this time?  It didn't taste nearly as good!"  The moral of the story is: this is fatty - love it or leave it!

    Finally, if you don't have a grill or don't want to burn your hair off, you can make this in the oven and just add about 20-30 minutes to the cooking time.  It will still taste like heaven (and guilt).

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