Bacon gives meatloaf an extra kick

Published 4:04 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

Who knew meatloaf wasn’t the invention of thrifty housewives during the Great Depression? The idea of mixing meat with a tenderizing filler traces back to the fourth or fifth century AD, when in a Roman cookbook Apicius presented a recipe for patties made of chopped meat, bread, and wine. But it wasn’t until the late 1800s that American meatloaf was born, inspired by recipes offered by manufacturers of the newly invented meat grinder.

The Depression only increased meatloaf’s popularity, along with developments in food manufacturing that produced flavorful, inexpensive mix-ins like mustard and bouillon. In the 1940s, World War II rationing spawned meat-free loaves, whereas postwar creativity in the 1950s and 1960s produced the likes of Bacon-Dill Meatloaf and Spicy Peach Loaf (Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 1955). In the 1970s and 1980s, veal, pork, and beef “meatloaf mix” came into vogue, elevating the dish to dinner party-worthy status. In the 1990s, restaurateurs marketed upscale versions, and today, innovations continue as loaves are stuffed, wrapped, or laced with international flavors.

Binder is an essential meatloaf ingredients because it creates an even, smooth texture. In additional to whole-wheat breadcrumbs, oats, or even cooked rice, it can include a generous amount of finely shredded or chopped cooked vegetables like spinach, carrots or broccoli. This will help your meatloaf be nutritionally smart.

I found a recipe for meatloaves that are cute and really tasty. They are moist, and have an extra kick with the bacon wrapped around the loaves. I have done this recipe twice since I like it so much. With a side of mashed potatoes you cannot go wrong with this homey meal.


From ‘Fine Cooking’ October/November 2017.

Mini Meatloaves Wrapped in Bacon

Serves 4

8 slices bacon

½ cup coarsely chopped onion

1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 medium clove garlic

½ cup dry breadcrumbs, such as panko

1 large egg

3 Tbs. ketchup; more as needed

½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. ground beef, preferably 85% lean

Cooking spray

Barbecue Sauce (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Arrange the bacon on the sheet with some room between each slice, and bake until crisp along the edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to cool.

Pulse the onion, parsley, and garlic in a food processor until chopped, 4 to 5 pulses. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Pulse 3 to 4 times to blend. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the ground beef, and mix until well combined.

Lightly spray four mini loaf pans or 6-oz. ramekins with cooking spray. Cross 2 slices of bacon in each pan or ramekin, pressing the bacon along the bottom and up the sides. (Let any excess hang over for now.) Divide the meatloaf mixture among the pans, gently packing it in. Fold the excess bacon over the meatloaf. Bake until cooked through (165°F), about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack. If you like, combine and equal amount of ketchup and barbecue sauce in a small bowl and brush some on the meatloaves before serving hot.