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Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

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Serves 8

  • To learn more, read:
    Meatloaf Makeovers
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 91

Instead of using breadcrumbs to bind this meatloaf,  you tear up bread into small pieces to provide delicate pockets of softness in each slice of meatloaf. For a decadent touch, the meatloaf is wrapped in bacon and served with a velvety mushroom gravy.

  • 4 oz. cremini (baby bella) or white mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped (1-1/3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 3 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. day-old rustic or dense white bread, torn into about 1/2-inch pieces (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1/2 lb. ground veal
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 2 Tbs. light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 slices center-cut bacon
  • Mushroom Gravy  

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF.

In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms with the onion, sherry, garlic, 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread, milk, and egg. Stir well, lightly mashing the bread until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the beef, veal, pork, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and the onion-mushroom mixture. Using a large, sturdy wooden spoon or your hands, gently mix just until all the ingredients are blended; you may need to push the meat against the side of the bowl to get the pieces to break up.

Put the meat mixture in a 9x13-inch metal baking pan. Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf about 10x4 inches. Wrap the strips of bacon around the loaf crosswise, overlapping them slightly and tucking the ends securely under the loaf. Pat the loaf back into shape if necessary.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 160ºF, 60 to 70 minutes. Take the meatloaf out of the oven and position the oven rack about 6 inches from the broiling element. Heat the broiler to high. Broil the meatloaf until the bacon is brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Let the loaf rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Use two flat spatulas to transfer the meatloaf to a serving platter. Slice and serve with the mushroom gravy.

Make Ahead Tips

You can form the meatloaf up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Leftovers

Fried meatloaf—crisp and golden-brown on the outside and steaming-hot on the inside—is a delicious, diner-inspired way to serve leftover meatloaf.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 340; Fat (g): fat g 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 26; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 15; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 610; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 105; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Romulo Yanes

My husband really does not like meatloaf, however, ever since I started using this recipe as my go to meatloaf recipe, he raves about it. To get over the issue of not adding ketchup, (which is actually what he objects to in meatloaf) I put ketchup on the top before covering it with bacon and then serve it with ketchup on the side. I also add minced bell pepper to it if I have some in the garden. I also drain the fat off the pan about an hour into the cooking - this helps the meatloaf not to fall apart. Excellent!!!

Very delicious! I should have used two eggs, moist and tender so it completely fell apart out of the pan - but tasted great. I added .5C of ketchup and 2TB dijon mustard for a more traditional taste. Also used panko instead of bread and all ground beef. Next time I will use a bigger or taller pan to bake it, the liquid spilled over the oven and smoked out the house. But very good dish!

Gosh, after all the fabulous reviews this recipe has garnered, I hate to be the one to shoot holes in it! But I thought it was average at best. The biggest problem: a very overwhelming onion taste; obviously a half cup of minced onion is too much for my taste! It was also quite dense and rather dry, but maybe I "kneaded" it too long when blending the meats. I am used to meatloaf made with ketchup, and this has none, so that extra zesty flavor is absent. To each his own, I guess!

This is THE best meatloaf! Love the bacon and mushrooms. The gravy is out of this world! I've made this several times now. Sometimes I only use ground beef, since I have a 1/4 cow in my freezer, and it's still really delicious. I always make extra gravy and serve with mashed potatoes. Yum!

Fantastic!!! One of our top 5 favorite home-cooked meals. The mushroom gravy is delicious on top. Made some extra to have a day later on the fried leftovers. Also a 5 star success.

The best recipe I've used so far. I can't get ground veal where I live so I used Italian spicy sausage meat instead. Just really, really good.

I made the recipe, adapting for the allergies in the family: celiac disease, egg allergies, dairy allergies. I used gluten free bread, 365 rice milk. To replace the egg I mixed 1 tablespoon flax seed with 2 tablespoons boiling water. Absolutely delicious - most certainly a keeper!!

I tried it with just ground pork and ground beef - it is just as good without the veal. Made it tonight with roasted potatoes and sauteed green beans. The meatloaf is so rich, the sides can be very simply prepared.

Made this for dinner tonight and my husband fell in love all over again. It might have had something to do with the eight strips of bacon. The meatloaf was delicious! Moist, flavorful, and pretty easy to throw together. We're already looking forward to the leftovers for tomorrow.

I have made this several times and it my all time favorite meatloaf recipe. We really liked the mushroom gravy on top and did fry the leftovers for a heavenly treat.

This recipe is GREAT. I have actually never made meatloaf before, so this was a great introduction! It was moist, flavorful, and delicious. The other reviews are right, the leftovers make great fried meatloaf sandwiches. I recommend swiss cheese, spicy brown mustard and some pickle!!!

Very good meatloaf recipe. Mine fell apart more than a traditional recipe as I had to substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs, but still very tasty and every bit was gone!

This is such a great meal! I've made it a few times since the recipe came out last winter and .... delish! Very moist.

This receipe is amazing. My whole family loves it. I served it with a side of mac & cheese also from this issue (also wonderful) The next day as suggested in the magazine I dipped the leftover meatloaf slices in beaten egg and panko crumbs and deep fried it & served it with the mushroom gravy. YUM!!!

My husband says this is the best meatloaf he has ever eaten. Double the gravy recipe for fried meatloaf especially if you initially served the meatloaf with mashed potatoes.

Another winner from Jessica! An old standby transformed into fine food!

Very good. Even better the next day. I freeze the leftovers into slices then I just pull out what I need. Makes and amazing grilled meatloaf sandwich

Amazing! I made the recipe and the mushroom gravy without modifications.

Got the magazine last Saturday and made the meatloaf on Sunday. Was a little anxious about no tomato in it but.....it was great. Loved the meatloaf and the sauce and all the mushrooms. The bacon after the broiler was great and it is the first time everyone ate the bacon on the top. This is a keeper and I will make it again and hopefully have some leftover next time to try the fried meatloaf.

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