Friday, October 2, 2009

Meat Loaf...with Bacon


That pink part in the meatloaf near the saucy top is bacon. Have pork-tinted loaf with a side of instant mashed potatoes!

Without having planned for a flavor explosion each night of this week, I needed to be creative with what I had in the kitchen for dinner tonight.  When I need to be creative, it involves pork.  I've had meatloaf before that had bacon strips on it.  The bacon was usually undercooked, too fatty, and much more chewy than I prefer my pork.  So I figured I'd put bacon strips IN the loaf and cook as usual, rather than placing the slices ON the loaf and cooking them after.

Also, it didn't make sense to me to prepared the loaf in an oven-proof bowl just to transfer it to an oven-proof loaf pan.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but take a look:

Meat Loaf...with Bacon

2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c milk
2/3 c dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/8 tsp black pepper
1.5-2 lb lean ground beef
1/4 c ketchup
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
2 slices low-sodium bacon

In a medium (Pyrex, Anchor Hocking or other oven-safe) bowl combine eggs and milk; stir in bread crumbs, onion, parsley, salt, basil, oregano, and pepper. Add ground meat; mix well. Lightly pat mixture in same bowl.
 

Cut slits into meatloaf to accomodate bacon slices. Insert bacon slices, fat side up. Pat beef mixture back down so fat sides of bacon slices are exposed.


Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until internal temperature registers 160°F. Spoon off fat.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine ketchup, sugar, and mustard.
 

Spread ketchup mixture over meat.


Return loaf to oven for 10 minutes.


Let loaf rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.


The loaf was good and the bacon was like a neat little surprise in the slices.  The bacon was completely cooked and not at all chewy or fatty.  As for cooking the loaf in the bowl, that worked out well.  One thing I forgot to do was to drain off the fat, so there was plenty of it in the bottom of the bowl by the time it was completely cooked.  Whoops!

I liked that one less dish was dirtied.  That was nice, especially since we don't have a dishwasher.  Rodney thought the meat loaf gets crispier edges in the loaf pan.  I didn't notice, which is weird. 

Cost:
  • ground beef: $2.99/lb = $3-4
  • eggs: $0.18 
  • bacon: $0.30
  • milk: $0.23
Total: $6.69.  Round up to $7 to account for the other ingredients. 

There was enough for us two to have for dinner, plus about half a loaf leftover.  That makes each serving about $1.75.

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