Bacon-Gruyère Meatloaf

18 Jun

Oh baby. Meatloaf. One of God’s gift to man, if you ask me. I mean, a loaf…of meat. If meatloaf is wrong…I don’t want to be right.

You catch my drift. I LOVE meatloaf.

Now, my mama makes killer meatloaf, and I don’t know if this recipe is quite up to the standards that is her magnificent recipe. However, it comes pretty darn close.

What makes this so good?

Bacon.

Delicious, fantastic, bacon goodness.

Yes.

So, I found this recipe in a new cookbook – it’s a compilation of the many recipes my favorite magazine puts out each month: Real Simple. This cookbook features appetizers, main dishes, sides and desserts for every season.

Never mind that this recipe is technically “Fall”.

I wanted meatloaf. AND I had all the ingredients. That happens 2% of the time I decide to make something, so I took that as a sign that I must…make…meatloaf.

Also, this is an incredibly easy recipe, hence the magazine’s title “Real Simple”. Their recipes are always delicious and require very little skill in the kitchen. And no fear if you don’t have access to this fabulous cookbook (though I do highly recommend) you can see the recipe on their website here.

Geniuses they are.

Ok, enough with the rambling, let’s make some meatloaf!

The original recipe has a suggested side of roasted carrots and onions, which I passed on. I had plenty of veggies to make a side salad with, so I went that route. But if you’d prefer the carrot/onion side concoction, check out the original recipe. Looks quite tasty!

Ingredients (I made a 2/3 variation of this as I only had access to 1 lb of meat. But here is the full-fledged version, which serves 4)

  • 1 1/2  pounds ground beef chuck (I used ground turkey instead, but I would imagine ground beef chuck would make this even more delicious)
  • 1/4  cup  bread crumbs
  • 1/4  cup  ketchup (You may also want some extra to have around to dip your meatloaf in, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped (Or if you’re extra skilled, the recipe calls for ‘coarsely grated’. I preferred the chopping method)
  • 2  slices bacon, chopped (<— Best part!)
  • 2  cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1  large egg
  • 3/4  cup  grated Gruyère or Cheddar (I had cheddar on hand, so that’s what I used. My imagination tells me Gruyère would be just as, if not more, tasty)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

How to Make:

This recipe is so easy, you may not even believe it.

First things first…preheat that oven to 400 degrees. Also, heat up a skillet to cook your bacon.

Fry up your bacon first. While it’s sizzling you can start mixing your other ingredients.

In a medium-ish sized bowl, mix up all of your ingredients EXCEPT 1/4 cup of your shredded cheese. Also toss in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

Once your bacon is all finished up and you’ve let it cool so you don’t burn your fingertips off, crumble it up and add it to your meatloaf mixture. Don’t try to crumble it before it’s cooled down. Who does that? (Oops.)

While cooking your bacon, you may or may not decide to fry up 3 slices…and consume 1 of those while you’re waiting for your bacon (and fingertips) to cool. I mean, bacon is good. Why not enjoy an extra slice?

Once your bacon is thoroughly mixed in with the rest of your ingredients…

…spoon your meatloaf into a sprayed pan. The recipe recommends a 8″ x 4″ pan. Then, sprinkle that remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top. Admire how pretty it looks. Sigh.

You must now patiently wait for your loaf of meat to cook. 40-45 minutes to be exact.

You could also use this time to consume that lovely 3rd piece of bacon.

Just trying to help.

As your kitchen starts to smell like glorious bacony-cheesy-meat, perhaps whip up whatever side you are planning on enjoying. For me it was a lighter side salad to balance the rich meatloaf, but roasted veggies (such as the carrots/onions in the original recipe) would be great if this is being made in the Fall or Winter. That’d make for one cozy meal. As it was 90 plus degrees when I made this…didn’t want the ‘cozy, cold weather’ feel for dinner. But that’s just me.

My younger brother likes soup when it’s 90 degrees. Some people just like warm, cozy food at all times of the year. Weird, but that’s life I guess.

Ok, back to meatloaf. Pull that baby out once it’s done. Let it stand for about 10 minutes and try to not cut into it and take a bite. I solemnly swear I did NOT cheat and take a bite. I was very tempted though.

Before you slice this up, pat the top with a paper towel to get the grease off. I had a few little pools on top (as seen in the glow of the picture above), nothing ridiculous. You can also ‘pour’ it off, but I just envisioned my meatloaf landing upside down in the sink. That would happen to me.

Slice this up, serve with your choice of side and enjoy!

Ahhhh….meatloaf.

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