Friday, April 8, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf

1/2 cup chili sauce (or substitute ketchup)
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 tsp. cider vinegar

Meat Loaf
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 med. onion, chopped
2 med. cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or whole milk)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground veal (or more pork instead)
2/3 cup Saltine crackers, crushed (about 18) or quick oatmeal, or 1 1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
6-8 oz. bacon, thin sliced (8 to 12 slices, depending on loaf shape)

1. For the glaze: Mix all ingredients in small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened and set aside.
2. For the meat loaf: Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil in medium skillet.  Add onion and garlic; saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot 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 it 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 ban.  Brush with half the glaze, then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only bacon tip ends under loaf.
5. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour.  Cool 10-15 minutes.  While meat loaf is cooling, re-heat remaining sauce and brush some over loaf if desired.  Slice meat loaf and serve with extra glaze.
Notes: I'm pretty sure Brittany didn't follow this recipe exactly (I don't think we had hot sauce or ground pork, and I know we didn't have veal), but whatever she did was still tasty.  This recipe came from Our Best Bites, which apparently got it from America's Test Kitchen.  I'm not sure if it was the bacon, but I didn't enjoy this as much when eaten as leftovers compared to other meatloaf recipes we've tried (regular and mushroom-and-sour-cream).  Also, we didn't have very much extra glaze for serving with the sliced meatloaf.
Update by Brittany: I used 1 pound of ground pork in addition to the ground beef. I used oatmeal instead of crushed crackers, and we didn't have any Dijon mustard, chili sauce, or hot sauce on hand. I agree with John-it was tasty (and it made the house smell delicious!), but I would probably prefer one of the other meatloaf recipes to this one. Perhaps I will try it again without the bacon. The glaze was really yummy.

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