Cardiac meat loaf

February 5, 2012

A work of art. Whose appearance is exceeded only by its taste. And fat grams.

This meat loaf is brought to you by way of the New York Times, where it was billed as a “bacon explosion.” I adapted it heavily, but still and all, it has a half-pound of bacon, a pound of ground beef, and a pound of ground pork, so its ill-advisement for anyone who has trouble with cholesterol is more or less intact.

To hell with cholesterol. This is worth it.

The original recipe called for a pound and a half of Italian sausage and a pound and a half of bacon. Seriously? I feel downright healthy by comparison. Mine had only a half-pound of bacon. Oh, the virtues of moderation.

My version:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 2-3 tbsp of your favorite barbecue spice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs, depending how many you need to get the desired consistency
  • 2/3 cup or so of your favorite barbecue sauce

In essence, the prep is the same. You mix up your meat loaf; in my case, the aforementioned meat, an egg, some barbecue spice rub, some (gluten free–ain’t no way I’m missing this) bread crumbs. Then you line a pan with foil, and lay five strips of bacon side by side. The original would have you use another five strips so you can weave them crosswise. However, the five I had plus the three I’d fried this morning with breakfast were all I had that were thawed, so I went with that.

So, you have your five bacon strips laid out, and sadly unwoven but shoulder to shoulder. You take your meat loaf stuff and plop it in the middle of all that, and press it out into a square that matches the shape of your bacon layer. And here is where the virtue of the weave comes in; the unwoven strips commence to edge themselves apart. No matter; you can fix that later.

Then you chop up your leftover bacon, if you have not already done so. You put about half the barbecue sauce over the meat, and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Then you sprinkle the bacon over it.

I would note the NYT recipe has you fry and crumble Another Three-Quarter Pound of bacon, as you have used about three-quarters of a pound doing your bacon weave. I mean, really, why not just slit your arteries and pack that fat in there? I love me some bacon, and I could NOT do that.

The next part is the tricky part. Using the bacon to help you along, roll the square of meat up into a nice neat cylinder. It worked for me to start from the side away from me and use the strips of bacon to pull both sides of the roll up at the same time. Lay the bacon back flat, pat the started cylinder into some degree of shape, and repeat until you get it all rolled up at one end of its bacon mat. Then use the foil to go back the other way, wrapping the bacon completely around the outside of the roll.  Roll it until the bacon lap-over is on the bottom, scoot it over into the center, squash it a little from both ends and then use both ends of the foil to convey the bacon-wrapped log to a loaf pan.

The original directions did not have you bake it in a loaf pan, and it might not have been necessary. But I know my ability with sheet pans, and I didn’t put much stock in my ability to get one out of the oven and to a wooden cutting board without spilling juices everywhere. Loaf pans are easier.

Put the remaining barbecue sauce on top of the meat loaf, spread it around, and bake it at 325 for about two hours, until a meat thermometer reads 165.

Sweet Baby Jesus, y’all. I make a decent meat loaf, but I ain’t NEVER made one this good. I may never make one differently again. I mean — wow!

I had it with leftover potato salad for a Super Bowl dinner, because, well, bacon….Super Bowl…y’know?

You and y ‘mama ‘n ’em make you one of these things. You’ll thank me. I promise.

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One Response to “Cardiac meat loaf”


  1. […] recipes nor photos, since you’ve seen ‘em all before. For reference, here, here, here, and […]


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