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Blue Cheese and Bacon Meatloaf

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Serves 8

  • by Allison Ehri Kreitler from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

The classic Buffalo-wings combo of celery and blue cheese pair here with actual buffalo—that is, lean and meaty ground bison. Create your own customized meatloaf recipe with the Recipe Maker.

  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup small-diced celery
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. medium-coarse white bread, such as Italian or French, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 lb. ground bison
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 oz. sliced bacon (about 9 strips)

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, celery, and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until warm.

In a shallow dish that holds it in a single layer, soak the bread in the milk, flipping once, until soggy but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the coarseness and freshness of the bread. Lightly squeeze a handful of bread at a time to remove some of the milk (it should be wet but not drenched). Finely chop and add to the bowl with the onion-celery mixture.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

Add the bison and eggs to the onion-celery mixture. Scatter the blue cheese over the meat, and then sprinkle with the Worcestershire, 2-1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Use your hands to gently mix all the ingredients until just combined; try not to compact the mixture as you do this.

Heat the remaining 1 tsp. of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Form 1 Tbs. of the meatloaf mixture into a small patty. When the oil is hot, cook the patty on both sides until cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and other seasonings as needed. Repeat until you're satisfied with the flavor.

Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the baking pan and form into a 10x4-inch rectangular block (it becomes loaf-shaped as it cooks). Finish the meatloaf by draping it with slightly overlapping strips of bacon, tucking the ends under the loaf.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the center of the meatloaf, 40 to 55 minutes.

Broil the meatloaf about 6 inches from the broiler element until the bacon is brown and crisped, about 3 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board or serving platter with a large spatula and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick slices.

Serving Suggestions

In keeping with the classic Buffalo wings flavors, serve with Sautéed Celery with Leeks and Mushrooms or Potato & Celery Root Purée.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 380; Fat (g): 26; Fat Calories (kcal): 230; Saturated Fat (g): 10; Protein (g): 25; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 850; Cholesterol (mg): 130; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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