The last couple of weeks have been one of those times when you get to the end and you are just proud of yourself for surviving. My husband has changed jobs for a better position and better hours. We were thrilled with the change but it has been an adjustment for the household. He gets home earlier but that also means he leaves earlier. And while it’s all good and we enjoy him being home earlier any disruption to the normal schedule causes growing pains. So when we survived that first week we were happy to have some comfort food when we made it to the weekend. Top of our list in favorite comfort foods in our house is Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. Paired with some mashed potatoes and fried okra it is about as wholesome and comforting as it gets.
The meatloaf recipe in The Pioneer Woman Cooks has been a mainstay in our house for years. I have made it for friends and it has the approval of our church youth group. I have even had self-proclaimed “meatloaf haters” tell me they have been converted. The first ingredient that may sway those haters is that this meatloaf is wrapped in bacon. Bacon makes everything better am I right?! But it doesn’t stop there. This recipe has a delicious brown sugar and ketchup tomato gravy that really puts it over the top.
Over the years I have adapted this recipe and made some changes to the method. As a working Mom, I am always looking for ways to get dinner on the table faster. So without further adieu let me tell you all about how I make bacon wrapped meatloaf.
For purposes of this recipe, I split my recipe to make 4 servings. With my son away at college, this is more than enough for my household now.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Take 4 slices of bread and tear it up into pieces. Pour 1/2 cup of milk over the bread and let it soak.
While the bread is soaking in the milk I work on getting the remaining ingredients together.
(Side note: My favorite way to prepare this meatloaf is with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork. Since I was splitting the recipe on this day I only used ground beef.)
Place the ground meat, shaved parmesan cheese, salt, seasoned salt, parsley and black pepper in a bowl.
Now about that parmesan cheese. I find that the larger pieces of shaved parmesan cheese allows the flavor to come through instead of just disappearing if I had used grated parmesan cheese. I think the larger pieces add a nice texture with some small pockets of the cheese.
After gathering those ingredients pour over the beaten eggs and the milk soaked bread. And then it’s time to get ready to get your hands dirty. Using clean hands, mix it all together.
Now one of the things I do a little different is that I cook my meatloaf on a broiler pan. I don’t like the meatloaf sitting in grease when it cooks. The broiler pan allows the fat to drain away. I realize that we are wrapping this meatloaf in bacon, but I can at least pretend I’m making it a little healthier! To make the cleanup easier, I line the bottom of the broiler pan with foil.
As I mentioned before, I like to save time where I can to get dinner on the table quicker. For that reason, I started making mini-meatloaves to cut down on the cook time. I split the meat mixture into four mini-meatloaves making essentially four quarter-pound loaves. I mentioned to a friend the reason why I started to do this and was promptly informed that he felt the mini-meatloaves tasted better. His reasoning was that you get more of the flavorful exterior crust of the meatloaf with the individual loaves than if you just sliced a traditional loaf.
Now it is time to make the tomato gravy. This tomato gravy is made with ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard and hot sauce. Stir together until well mixed.
Pour about a third of the tomato sauce mixture over the meatloaves saving the remainder of the sauce for later.
Take the bacon slices and cut in half. Wrap the bacon slices over the top of the meatloaves and tuck the ends underneath.
Bake the meatloaves for 35 minutes. At this point I turn the broiler on and let the meatloaves sit under the broiler for about 5 minutes. I do this because we like to make sure the bacon is cooked through and not soggy.
After the bacon is browned I pull the meatloaves out of the oven and generously top with more of the tomato sauce mixture. Bake for another 5-10 minutes to heat the sauce through.
You can serve the meatloaf with any remaining sauce. We love to have this with mashed potatoes and fried okra! Don’t tell anyone but I even like to dip my mashed potatoes in the tomato sauce a little bit. 🙂
Please let me know what you think. Even if you don’t think you like meatloaf, I encourage you to give this meatloaf a try!!
Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
Time-saving and flavorful mini-meatloafs wrapped in bacon and topped with a tasty sauce.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup milk
- 8 slices bread
- 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 tsp dried parsley or can use 1/4 to 1/2 cup minced parsley
- 4 eggs beaten
- 8 to 12 thin bacon slices cut in half
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 6 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1-2 dashes hot sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Tear the bread slices into pieces. Pour the milk over the bread pieces and allow to soak while preparing remaining ingredients.
Place the meat, shaved Parmesan cheese, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper and parsley in a mixing bowl. Pour in the beaten eggs. Add the milk-soaked bread.
Mix all the ingredients with clean hands until combined.
Divide the meat mixture into 8 portions and shape into mini-meatloaves.
On a broiler pan lined with foil place each of the mini-meatloaves.
In a separate bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard and hot sauce to taste. Mix well.
Take a third of the sauce and pour over each of the mini-meatloaves. Take care not to cross-contaminate between the raw meat and the sauce remaining in the bowl!
Take the bacon slice halves and wrap on top of the mini-meatloaves and tuck the ends under the loaves.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 35 minutes
Turn on the broiler and keep in oven for an additional 5 minutes to brown the bacon
Reduce the oven temperature back to 350 degrees. Remove meatloaf from oven and pour another third of the sauce over the mini-meatloaves. Return to oven for another 5 minutes to heat the sauce through.
Enjoy! Serve with mashed potatoes and fried okra.