There shouldn't even be a question as to why it has. Just look at the first two words in the title, man.
It was more "bacon-lined" than "bacon-wrapped", but hey, there's bacon INSIDE the meat loaf too. I'm not complaining
So the first time I made it, I went full scale but instead of 1 lb. each of ground beef, pork, and veal, I did 1.5 lb. each of pork and beef. I looked at the mixture in the bowl and there was no way ALL of that was going to fit into the one loaf pan. The recipe did say it would make 10-12 servings, but this seemed excessive...
I ended up with TWO very full loaf pans and a small free-form loaf. I took some to eat for lunch at work and had leftover party. Twice.
Obviously, this girl didn't learn from her past experience with the meatballs recipe from the same cook book.
Well, here's yet another adaptation of Chef Peel's recipe, scaled down to serve 2-4 people. And also simplified for easier clean-up.
Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf for Four
- 8-10 thin-cut slices bacon to line the pan, 2 extra slices for the meatloaf.
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (or if you're lazy like me, I crumbled a few slices of day-old bread to come up to just about the same amount onto a baking sheet and set it in the oven while it preheats.)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 TBS canola oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- About 2 TBS chopped Italian parsley
- 1.5 lbs. ground pork
- 1.5 lbs. ground beef (20 percent fat)
- 8-10 sage leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
2. In a large bowl (you'll be adding half of the meat mixture and the veggies into this), soak the bread crumbs in the milk for a few minutes, then squeeze out and discard excess milk. Beat in the egg. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, onion, celery, and garlic. Season with salt. Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley. Let cool for a bit.
4. Add a little bit of the still warm mixture to the egg and breadcrumbs, tempering the egg a bit. Then add all of the veggies into the egg/breadcrumb bowl. Combine well.
5. In a large bowl, combine the meats and season with salt and pepper. Kneed to combine.
6. One handful at a time, add half of the meat to the egg-veggie mixture, and combine well. Now plop all of this back into the meat-only bowl and combine well.
7. Take up handfuls of the meat mixture and slap between your hand to expel air, then fill the loaf pan. Using a spoon, make a depression down the center of the loaf and fill that with ketchup. Garnish with sage leaves, pressing them into the top of the loaf.
8. Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet (in case of fat spill-over) and place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake about 45 minutes or (until temperature gets to 140F). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. Some of the juices will be absorbed back by the meat loaf.
9. Tip the remaining liquid into a bowl, then strain and skim off the fat. (In my case, there was nothing but fat. I use a little bit of that to drizzle anyway!) Slice and serve meat loaf with the juice and/or more ketchup.
I served mine with skin-on mashed potatoes made with cream, butter, and a bit of bacon fat I have sitting in the fridge. (Just a little bit!)