Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

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The meatloaf of my youth was rather unremarkable so I recently embarked on a mission to find my favorite recipe. It could not be too fancy or involved and it had to be sturdy enough to make blackened meatloaf sandwiches (a sequel to this post, coming soon).

I had a few requirements:

  • Covered with ketchup
  • Some kind of cracker crumbs as a filler
  • Wrapped with bacon
  • No crunchy things in the final product such as celery
  • Horseradish

Horseradish is a secret ingredient I learned from Miss Helen Corbitt of Neiman Marcus fame. The flavor is not obvious but it makes a subtle difference I am crazy about. If it doesn’t sound good to you, leave it out. Same goes for the chopped parsley which adds freshness and color. I think you’ll like it but if you have “green-haters” at the dinner table, it’s OK to leave it out too.

Of course, you can skip the bacon but it really dresses up the meatloaf. Using commercially pre-cooked bacon is a time and calorie saver I highly recommend.

bacon wrapped meatloaf slices on mashed potatoes

Cook’s Country magazine recently featured a meatloaf recipe that gave me the idea to use a food processor to process the raw meat along with the crumb mixture. A few pulses create a more homogeneous texture. This ensures the final product doesn’t turn out like hamburger-in-a-pan and will hold together when cooked.

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
 
Author:
Recipe type: entree
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers (12)
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ½ cup onions (I prefer frozen for easy digestibility and softness when cooked)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork or turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon prepared cream horseradish
  • ¼ cup chili sauce (or ketchup)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
  • Ketchup (enough to cover loaves)
  • 10 slices pre-cooked bacon
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover small baking rack with aluminum foil and place on foil-covered half-sheet baking pan. Poke a few holes in the foil on the rack to allow excess grease to drain. (Using this method instead of cooking in a loaf pan ensures a crispy crust all over, less grease in the meatloaf, less cooking time and less clean-up because of the foil.
  2. Place crackers, milk, onions and garlic in bowl of food processor and pulse several times until onions are finely chopped and crackers are completely crumbled. Break up meat and add to food processor. Pulse 10 times, one second each, to combine with crumbs. (Depending on your food processor, you might want to use your hands to rearrange the meat halfway through the mixing process.) Be careful not to overdo it or you could end up with something looking like Spam. Put meat mixture in a large mixing bowl and use hands (gloved, for me) to lightly combine remaining ingredients with meat.
  3. Mold raw meat into 2 small loaves and place on prepared rack. Cover loaves with ketchup. Loosely lay 5 strips of bacon on each loaf and tuck ends under. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until temperature reaches 160 degrees internally. Let stand out of the oven about 10 minutes before serving.

 

You might enjoy these with your meatloaf…

Hearty Baked Beans

Sweet and White Potato Swirl

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul August 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm

This would be fabulous with the cheesy jalapeño mashed potatoes!:-)

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kristin October 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

So what is chuck? Is it like ground beef

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Paula October 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Kristin,
Yes, it is ground beef–usually 80-85% lean.

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Edwin October 7, 2010 at 2:31 am

Bacon makes everything better! This might make me like meatloaf… can’t wait to try this recipe 🙂

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Dewey From Detroit September 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Meatloaf with bacon. What could go wrong?

And here I thought I invented horseradish in meatloaf. Proof positive that there really isn’t anything new under the sun.

I would strongly advise everyone to try it with their favorite meatloaf recipe ( I use twice as much, but squeezed dry of the juice). It is sublime.

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TheBad September 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

“Of course, you can skip the bacon”

WHAT?!?!

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PicnicIdeas(Chen) September 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

Thanks for the recipes.It looks wonderful.
Stumbled this post 🙂

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Rebecca September 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm

This recipe is very similar to mine and we love it – but interested in trying the chili sauce instead of ketchup and the horseradish! haven’t ever thought of taking it out of the loaf pan either. Great tips. Thanks! I’m going to try the food processor method also – I hate mixing it with my hands!

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Madam Chow September 6, 2010 at 9:50 am

Bacon, like butter, makes everything taste better!

My husband is not a fan of the texture of celery, so what I do is process ALL the vegetables that I throw into a meatloaf, until I have a paste. That way I get all of the flavor and none of the crunchiness.

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Paula September 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

Madam Chow, That is a great idea. I do it with the onion so might as well throw in a little celery too.

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Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen September 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

The last time I made meatloaf (hubby’s favorite dish) it turned out like a brick. I think I am always trying to tweak the recipe to make it healthier, best stick with a recipe and yours looks terrific. I never have Ritz on hand, but will try them. I had used oatmeal for the filler, maybe that was the problem.

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Sandy September 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I very seldom make a meatloaf. Why? Because I have this problem that no two meatloaf’s turn out the same. The day you featured this I fixed meatloaf for dinner, did the dishes and looked at your blog! YIKES,no comparison I am sure of that. The grocery store had a sale on the Hormel 4 minute microwave meatloaf’s. Shame on me. Next time I will try your recipe.

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Paula September 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Linda, I had the same experience with bacon the first time I tried it. Specifically, the bacon wrapped under the loaf did not get crispy. Yuk! Although not quite as pretty on top, the pre-cooked worked like a charm. All bacon is well-cooked and brown at the same time as the meatloaf.

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Linda September 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Sorry but I got side-tracked at Momma’s Soapbox comments and am still BWAHAHAH-ing! 🙂

I always include crackers but have not tried Ritz (why, I wonder?), so that is a must. Although my hubby hates horseradish, I love it, and I’m just about sly enough to try it anyway. The pre-cooked bacon is a great idea, because when I tried bacon on my meatloaf, it didn’t cook as well as I would have liked. I’m excited to try this!

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit September 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Looks so good- I want some for dinner tonight!

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Momma's Soapbox September 3, 2010 at 7:31 pm

You had me at Bacon…
When you followed it up with horseradish….. I must admit I pee’d a little.

That’s what happens when I get really excited…… or sneeze.

This is going on the menu.

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Susie September 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm

anything you make with bacon is good! yum!

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Kayte September 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Have done it with all the listed things except the horseradish…going there soon, it’s almost meatloaf weather and my guys love meatloaf!! Thanks for the recipe. Your photo is gorgeous and it is very difficult to photo meat!

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Paula September 3, 2010 at 11:54 am

that`s really interesting recipe! I`ll try this 🙂

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Karen September 3, 2010 at 11:42 am

I’m on a quest for a good meatloaf recipe, because mine always turns out “mushy.” I like the idea of Ritz crackers in this one. (Yum!) What is the difference between ground chuck and plain ground beef? Is there a difference?

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TheKitchenWitch September 3, 2010 at 9:15 am

I have traumatic memories of the meatloaf of my youth. Still, yours looks and sounds do-able, especially with bacon. Bacon makes everything sing, don’t you think?

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