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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Make-ahead Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf Sandwiches

[A moment of reflection for the greatness that is this dish]

No, this is not health food, but this is one of the best things I have EVER eaten.  Ever.  There are no words to convey how serious I am about this fact.  Best. Ever. Period.  And you get versatility in preparation, storage and serving methods.  I don't know that there is anything more perfect anywhere in any category of being.  I cannot claim responsibility for originating this masterpiece, though I have naturally tweaked, simplified and Dinner Done Yesterday-ed it.

There are two main prep-ahead/serving options: 1) mix the meatloaf to store (fridge or freeze), bake later and serve as meatloaf, 2) bake the meatloaf to store to slice and fry later for sandwiches.  And there's the planned leftover option...serve as meatloaf for dinner #1 and slice and fry for sandwiches for dinner #2. If you want to go for complete gastronomic orgasm, fry the meatloaf slices in mojo de ajo.

The meatloaf mix lends itself well to either ground pork or beef, accomodates whatever herbs you have on hand, and did I mention that it's wrapped in bacon and made with bacon fat?  Oh jah, good stuff. 

Make-Ahead Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Sandwiches
12 servings

1 ½ tbsp bacon fat or butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh or dry sage
2 tsp chopped fresh  or dry parsley
3 lbs. ground beef or pork
3 eggs
¾ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp salt
1 ½ tsp black pepper
½ lb. pre-sliced bacon

Melt bacon fat or butter in a skillet and sauté onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add herbs and cook one minute more.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.  Add meat, eggs, bread crumbs, cheese salt and pepper when cool and mix thoroughly.

Bacon Lining
 Prepare two 9x5 loaf pans for meatloaves.  Line each pan with alternating strips of bacon.  Start at one end of the pan, and lay the narrow end of a bacon strip width-wise across the bottom of the pan and up the edge.  Allow the bacon to hang outside the pan.  Lay the next strip of bacon in the opposite direction, overlapping the strips slightly in the bottom of the pan.  Continue until the bottom of the pan is covered.  You will have “ribbons” of bacon hanging off both long edges of the pan. 

Fill each pan with ½ of the meatloaf mixture.   Fold the “ribbons” of bacon over the top of the meatloaf.  You can fridge or freeze the meatloaves now if you wish to bake them later to serve as is (wrap well or vacuseal, if freezing).


Finished meatloaf in a water bath
Place the meatloaves in a 13x9 pan filled halfway with hot water.  Cook 1 ½ hours at 350F.  When fully cooked (150F internal temperature), pour off any excess fat and allow the meatloaves to cool before wrapping tightly with foil and refrigerating or freezing.

To make sandwiches, thaw frozen meatloaf and cut into ½” slices.  Fry the slices in bacon fat, mojo de ajo or butter over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side, and serve on sandwich buns.
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1 comment:

  1. oh yeah, Brian's already in love with this and we haven't even made it yet!