I was hungry for meatloaf, so the other day I asked my wife to pick up some ground meat and croutons at the store, and last night I decided I was in the mood to cook.
Every time I make meatloaf, I think of my mom & grandma telling me how my grandpap used to make it with hard boiled eggs in the middle. I always thought that would be fun to try… but something pushed me into finally doing it. A look at Wikipedia seems to indicate that the eggs-in-the-middle is a Hungarian, Phillipino, Bulgarian or Czech thing… Thanks for the help, Wikipedia. As far as I know, that side of the family is mostly German & Irish… so who knows where it came from? Not like people couldn’t come up with this stuff independantly… but I like to read useless information.
Whenever I make meatloaf, I never use a set recipe. I always end up googling something like “How long and at what temperature do I cook a 2 lb. Meatloaf?” or going to Cooks.com and simply searching for “Meatloaf” right before I start. This time was no exception. I also usually end up calling my mom, to see what she would do as far as time/teperature.
I’m amazed at how many things you can do to meatloaf. I’m gonna try shredded carrots some time. And maybe I’ll even try soaking bread crumbs or croutons in milk before mixing them in. I have used just chunks of bread, crumbled crackers, bread crumbs, and even mashed potato flakes… but too many bread crumbs or crackers and the meatloaf is just gross… more loaf than meat, and that’s certainly not a good thing.
This time though, I kept it pretty simple… except for the eggs, I guess… and the bacon…
Here’s what went into it…
- About 2 lbs. ground chuck… I think it was the 90/10 stuff.
- 2 handfulls of “seasoned” croutons… one crumbled, one not…
- 1 egg (raw)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- assorted spices… minced garlic, fresh ground black pepper, whatever else I grabbed out of the cupboard… no real discernible measurements here. I think I even popped in a little ketchup, A1, and Parmesan cheese…
All that got mixed together, well, without the hard-boiled eggs… then I formed the bottom of the loaf in a glass pan, on top of 3 slices of white bread… made spots for the eggs, placed them gently in the raw ground goodness, and covered them over with the rest.
I picked up the meatloaf on top of slices of bread trick from my dad. It serves a double purpose, it prevents the bottom of the loaf from burning, and soaks up any extra grease… I needed a loaf rather than a few slices for this one, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Grandma used to usually put ketchup on the top of her meatloaf. My mom said that my grandpap used to sometimes top his with some mashed potatoes & brown them for a potato frosting. My meatloaf needed something on top… my signature, if you will.
This is where we cross from odd into ridiculous. I couldn’t decide, so I made a triple topping. Typically I go with a glaze on top that’s a mixture of Ketchup, whatever honey mustard, and A1. But the eggs in the middle told me to do something goofy… so I got out some shredded cheddar jack cheese… Then the eggs reminded me of bacon… so I got that out too.
So for the top of the meatloaf we had…
- Heinz Ketchup
- Frech’s Honey Mustard
- A1 Steak Sauce
- shredded cheddar jack cheese
The glaze is probably about 2/3 ketchup, 1/6 mustard, and 1/6 A1. How much of each? I dunno. I eyed it & mixed it in a coffee mug. I put that on top of the meatloaf. It looked pretty good. Then I sprinkled the cheese on top of that… Still lookin’ OK, albeit a little brighter.
Then the “aaaaaaaaah”/choir of angels moment… BACON.
I’ve used bacon-bits in meatloaf and chili before, but I’ve never wrapped anything in bacon. There’s a first time for everything, right? Of course, I had to top the bacon with more fresh ground pepper.
After reviewing a bunch of stuff on line, and talking to my mom… I decided to cook it for about an hour and a half and make sure the meat thermometer reached 160° F. I had it covered in foil for about an hour, the last half letting it go uncovered to get the bacon nice & brown… maybe a little too brown this time, but oh well.
I realize this isn’t the most healthy meal in the world, but I seemed to offend the senses of some and become a champion of sorts to others simply by posting photos in photobucket and sharing the link on facebook.
My sister-in-law asked how many calories it was, and while I know it was in jest, it got me wondering, so I asked Yahoo!.
This is the meal of a carnivore, as it has stuff from three different animals… although one didn’t have to die in the process of harvesting its delicious nutrition.
Next time, I may not use so much bacon… because it made a pool of grease at the bottom of the baking dish that wasn’t all that appealing.
The eggs are a neat surprise, and a good way to stretch it I suppose… but I doubt I’ll do every meatloaf like this from now on. But, at least I can say I’ve done it, and I know what it looks and tastes like.
I hope you enjoyed my tale of meaty decadence… and I hope to hear others recipes/ideas/surprise ingredients!