My teenage daughter recently said to me “Mom, you don’t need to put bacon in everything!” with the exasperated sigh that all teenagers use when dealing with their mothers. Hmmm…we may be speaking different languages, because I sure don’t understand this comment! (Don’t worry, I’ll be checking her room for drugs, right after I finish writing this, because really-who says this?) Bacon? Bacon belongs on everything. Bacon should be it’s own food group. Bacon is life. Like this Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf. If you agree with me, or know someone that agrees with me…keep reading…
As a person that loves food, I’m often jumping around to other blogs, noting foods that are intriguing and foods that I’d like to try. (Let’s not even talk about my cookbook addiction, it makes my husband crazy…but if you wanted to check out the latest cookbook I bought…just yesterday in fact…I won’t judge, we just won’t tell my husband. Here you go- the cookbook is called Molly on the Range, you can thank me later, it’s truly fabulous and fully worth all of this sneaking, lying behavior I’m cultivating with this addiction). But all of these awesome blogs that I visit, and all of these amazing cookbooks that I spend my hard earned money on, provide inspiration for my own cooking. Let’s just call it research, shall we?
So as I was making a meatloaf dish for another event, I came across this amazing for Bourbon Bacon Jam by Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic. I had to try the jam (bourbon bacon? Seriously?…everyone needs to try this jam). As I was making the jam and trying to figure out exactly how to use it, it hit me Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf!
I have to admit, meatloaf was not my thing. In fact I had resisted eating it, despite pleas from my mother and husband, for close to 25 years (OK, maybe a few more years than that, but who’s counting-these years, they fly by!). But one day I had a revelation. I was pregnant with my now 5 year old-whose pregnancy turned this former vegetarian on to all things meat- so weird. All of the sudden I, who had never even ordered a hamburger in a restaurant, suddenly craved steak-AND ordered it, much to the delight of my carnivorous husband. (I barely know that meat adverse girl now, in fact I’m looking forward to a steak tonight! But I digress…) Meatloaf was kind of like the meat in the spaghetti sauce, and kind of like meatballs, and kind of like hamburgers (but with more flavor). Maybe I should try meatloaf after all.
My concern was that meatloaf would be dry and well, lacking in flavor. But after a few practice runs, I think I finally came up with a meatloaf recipe that combats this problem. And the Bourbon Bacon Jam from Cravings of a Lunatic, knocked this meatloaf right out of the park. I served this Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes, but it would be good with almost anything-Roasted Broccoli, Rainbow Carrots, green beans, hash browns, baked potatoes, you name it!
Have a friend that isn’t convinced that meatloaf isn’t a good dinner option? Make Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf for them, and I’m pretty sure that they will change their mind!
Recipe for Bourbon Bacon Jam (Cravings of a Lunatic). This can be made ahead and stored for a couple of days in the refrigerator…if it lasts that long.
- 2 slices of bread, processed in food processor to make bread crumbs
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 eggs
- Bourbon Bacon Jam (see recipe in post)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Place onions, shallot, carrot and celery into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add vegetables and sauté until they are soft and beginning to brown, approximately 10 minutes.
- Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
- Add vegetables to a large mixing bowl.
- Add breadcrumbs to vegetables and combine.
- Add remaining ingredients (1/2 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ground beef, tomato paste, smoked paprika, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, milk, parsley, thyme, and eggs).
- Mix the ingredients well (it is easiest to use your hands for this part).
- Set the mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Drain half of the liquid in the bowl, and mix the remaining liquid back into the meat mixture.
- Divide the mixture into 12 individual meatloaves, each approximately 3 inches.
- Place the meatloaves into a baking dish.
- Check at 25 minutes-if excess liquid has accumulated in the baking dish, drain and place back into the oven.
- Bake until cooked through, approximately 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Top each meatloaf with 1-2 Teaspoons of Bourbon Bacon Jam.
- Serve and enjoy!
PS-No drugs found in my daughter’s room. She really is a great kid, even if she is a teenager and doesn’t understand the necessity of bacon.
The basic meatloaf recipe is loosely adapted from the Smitten Kitten Cookbook.