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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Meatloaf has long been a staple meat dish in many homes. It really falls under the category of comfort meals. Not only is is comfort food it is a nice budget stretcher. I think every Mom makes a version of it. Meatloaf is one of those dishes that like my soups and stews is made on the fly tossing in ingredients that strike my fancy at the time. While onions are always added I quite often add zucchini, cabbage or carrots and sometimes I dress it up with shredded cheese or bacon or even stuff it.

bacon wrapped meatloaf prepared for ovenReady for Oven

The basics for making meatloaf are quite simple. I start with lean ground meat, in this case beef. Now here is where it starts to get interesting for me because most meatloaf recipes add mustard and ketchup. Just in those two ingredients along there are so many varieties a simple substitution can make for a very personalized meatloaf. I used ketchup, yellow prepared mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Heinz 57® steak sauce along with 3 eggs as a binder. The next ingredient any meat loaf has is some type of filler such as dry bread crumbs, oatmeal or crushed crackers. Just look at the options here for changing the taste! This is also the perfect opportunity to add a bit of fiber to your meatloaf so you can sprinkle in a little wheat germ or even stir in mashed cooked beans although I did neither for this particular meatloaf. I used homemade bread crumbs from a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread. After forming the loaf I tucked on 4 slices of a thick cut, smoked bacon.

baked bacon wrapped meatloafBaked

I baked the meatloaf uncovered at 180ºC/350ºF until golden brown with an internal temperature of 71ºC/160ºF. Since I had used very lean ground beef and the gourmet bacon there was very little grease in the baking dish, less that 2 tbsp. Once the meatloaf was out of the oven I immediately placed it onto a wire rack over a plate to allow any additions grease to drain. There were a few drips but no more than a half teaspoon. The end result was a lovely yet flavourful and moist low fat meatloaf.

It really is surprising how much flavour bacon can add to many dishes including meatloaf. I've often used bacon is chowders, baked beans and anything venison based. It really is important to use premium quality, thick sliced bacon for maximum flavour. This is cost effective as well since you can get away with using a lot less. Avoid using thin cut, bargain bacon that lack flavour and contain a higher fat content.

bacon wrapped meatloaf Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

I served the bacon wrapped meatloaf with baked potatoes and sweet peas. Yes I know we eat a lot of baked potatoes but popping a couple of potatoes to bake along with the meat is not only a frugal use of electricity but is also eco-friendly. Actually this time I baked 4 potatoes with the meat so I would have 2 for country cuts the next day. Baked potatoes when not heavily laden with toppings are also quite good for you providing a good for you, low in calories and high in fiber. If you've been following this blog you will know there are very few times I peel potatoes because it does reduce both nutrition and fiber.

Another thing you will have noticed if you've been following this blog is I grow as many vegetables as possible and buy local produce to supplement what I don't grow. I do grow sweet peas but only enough for fresh eating due to space limitations. I have not been able to find a good source for local sweet peas either. As a result sweet peas are one of the very few commercially frozen vegetables I do buy.


6 food lovers commented:

Auntie E said...

that look very good and I am having meatloaf on my menu this weekend. So this will be great to use.

cassandrasmom said...

The meatloaf looks so good! It's one of my favorite things to make for dinner.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Auntie E :) Thanks!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Cassandrasmom :) Meatloaf is just such a versatile dish isn't it? There are so many ways to make it that there really isn't much chance it can get boring!

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

I cannot wait to make this for the husband - he loves bacon!

Garden Gnome said...

I hope your husband enjoys this little extra spin on meatloaf Chey!