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A traditional meat loaf, but it’s covered in bacon!

Mountain Morning

I love where I live. This is the first thing I see when I walk out my door in the morning. Even though I am tired of the snow and I hate driving in it, when it snows, the land around me almost feels magical. In the spring, the flowers are plentiful and the mountains take on a vibrant green. The summers are perfect for camping and hiking, and rivers and lakes are plentiful. If you’ve never driven through the mountains of Utah in the fall, you are really missing out. When the leaves start changing, the mountains are completely transformed and I could spend days up driving through the gold, red and orange.

But this wonderful state has it’s drawbacks as well. Let me explain – When I received this month’s Cookbook of the Month, I went through and marked down the 4 recipes that I wanted to make during the month. The first three were recipe that just looked and sounded good to me. The fourth – Meat Loaf – was suggested by a commenter on my blog. One of the few things that my husband claims he does not like is meat loaf. I am trying to convince him that he actually would like things that he says he doesn’t like, so I decided to go with this meat loaf since I have had such good luck with this cookbook. I go to the store to pick up the needed ingredients. A typical meat loaf recipe usually calls for a mix of ground beef, pork and veal, each in equal proportions. This recipes calls for 50% beef, 25% pork, and 25% veal. I am looking through the meat at the store, and I can see beef and pork, but no veal. Come to think of it, I have never seen veal (or a meatloaf mix) sold at any grocery store around me. I’m at the meat counter, and the conversation goes something like this:

Me – “Do you have any meatloaf mix?”
Worker – Looks at me quizzically
Me – “You know, a mixture of ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal?”
Worker – Still looking at me quizzically
Me – “I take it by that look on your face that you don’t have it and have never been asked for it.”
Worker – “Well, we have beef and pork, but not any veal.”

And honestly, by the look on his face, I don’t think he had even ever heard of veal before. Granted, he looked about 17 years old, but still – he works at the meat counter. Something very similar happened at another store later that week when I was looking for pancetta.

I know that I am surrounded by beauty, but I often joke to my husband that I live in “Casserole Country.” Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against those who cook like that – I know I’m not a gourmet chef, and I don’t claim to be one, but it does get frustrating sometimes when I am trying to find ingredients and cannot find them anywhere. And come on people – meat loaf is not a gourmet meal! So why can’t I find meat loaf mix???

So I did improvise. I used 75% ground beef and 25% ground pork. I do what I have to do!

I have actually heard a few people talk about this meat loaf. The meat loaf ingredients themselves don’t seem too out of the ordinary, but it differs from any I’ve had before because the outside of the loaf is covered in bacon. I like bacon, so this sounded like a wonderful recipe!!

But I have to admit that it’s not my favorite meat loaf I’ve ever had. I think my favorite part of meat loaf is the crusty exterior, and because you have the bacon on the outside, you don’t get that crust. I loved the taste of the bacon with the meat loaf, but I missed that extra texture. The sauce is wonderful – you get the familiarity of ketchup, but a little more grown up. And overall, the meat loaf tasted great, but probably not the recipe I would turn back to when my husband allows me to make meat loaf again. We ended up bringing dinner over to my in-laws, so I just snapped a picture while at the table, so it’s not the best photo!

Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze on Taste and Tell

Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze
Prep time
Total time
A traditional meat loaf, but it's covered in bacon!
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cider or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • ½ cup whole milk or plain yogurt
  • 2 pounds meat loaf mix (50 percent ground chuck, 25 percent ground pork, 25 percent ground veal)
  • ⅔ cup crushed saltine crackers (about 16)
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 8 ounces (8 slices) bacon
Make the Glaze:
  1. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan. Set aside.
Make the Meat Loaf:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and milk.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the meat mix, crackers, parsley and cooked onion and garlic mixture. Add the egg mixture and mix lightly until combined.
  5. Turn the mixture onto the foil lined baking sheet and shape into a loaf about 9x5-inches. Brush half of the glaze on top of the loaf. Place the bacon strips crosswise over the loaf, overlapping slightly. Tuck the edges under the loaf.
  6. Bake until the bacon is crisp and the internal temperature of the loaf is 160F, about 1 hour. Cool for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Place the remaining glaze in a small saucepan until slightly thickened. Slice the meat loaf and serve with the glaze.

**NOTE – I’ve always spelled it “meatloaf” but this cookbook has it as 2 separate words – meat loaf. So I decided to go with the book – I don’t know if one is right or wrong!!

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24 Responses to Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar and Ketchup Glaze {Cookbook of the Month Recipe}

  1. Happy cook says:

    Wow Wish i was living were you were living; The view from your place is just breath taking.
    Love the meat loaf.

  2. Mary says:

    Ok, so it sounds like we are living in similar places. No veal here either unless you grow the cow. But your view is a LOT prettier. I’d love to go to Utah someday.

    The cooking light chipotle turkey meatloaf is really really good. And ground turkey can be found here, so I’m fairly sure you can get it there! 😉

  3. Laura says:

    I’m lucky enough to have an old fashioned butcher shop in my town, so I’ll bet I can get the veal. For some reason I’ve been really into meatloaf lately, which is funny since I really disliked it growing up. I’m going to try this recipe…and I’m putting that cookbook on my amazon wish list!

  4. Katerina says:

    You know, I don’t know if I have ever had meat loaf, I love meat balls and burgers, and I love mixes meats in ragus.. I really should give it a try but it doesn’t really sound that appetizing? Too many bad associations I suppose. If you can’t find veal why not trying something totally different like ground turkey?

  5. Katie B. says:

    Something useful my butcher told me recently: If you don’t use veal, use beef, but add a packet of gelatin. I haven’t tried it yet, but my butcher has been nothing but good to me about everything else! 🙂

  6. Gabi says:

    Hey Deborah,
    If you come around the mountain to Salt Lake, Snider Bros Meats in he Cottonwood area (ph# 272-6469) carries ground veal at about $4.89 a pound. I don’t cook with beef at home because my husband doesn’t like it but I know they have it. They have a good selection of meat you can’t find at your local market.
    Your meatloaf looks great anyway!

  7. Christina says:

    What a stunning picture, Deborah! The sky is just as lovely as the mountains.

    Great flavorings in your meatloaf. I like the addition of thyme. Speaking of meatloaf, I had ground venison meatloaf last night that tasted great.

  8. Tarah says:

    That brown sugar ketchup glaze sounds intriguing. I think I’ll try this on the Turkey Meatloaf that I’m making tonight :]

  9. Melanie says:

    I was laughing out loud at your “casserole country” comment. I live in Northern Utah – and I have had similar experiences trying to find ingredients here. Nothing against where I live but having just moved here from Wisconsin where food options were more plentiful, I sometimes get very frustrated! I’m learning how to make great substitutions. Your meatloaf looks very delicious and I’ve heard great things about this cookbook.

  10. Katy says:

    That view is just incredible! I’d eat a hundred casseroles if we could put a mountain right outside my front door. I know what you mean about ingredients though — I am constantly remembering how lucky I am for the amazing specialty food stores in NYC!

  11. glamah16 says:

    Beautiful place whwere you live. We were just talking about meatloafs today!

  12. Shandy says:

    Hi Deborah, I just love your mountain view! You know, the veal thing is not easy, no matter where you live, I think. I did find veal but had to grind it up myself. When I say that I found veal, I did a computer search for the area and all meat stores. I then spent a long period of time calling all these places, then when I finally did find a place that sold veal, I told him I would be right over. I wished I had looked at the address first! It took be about an hour and fifteen minutes to get there and then the selection was slim. What an experience!
    The meatloaf looks delicious and I am with you about the outside texture. I still think I will try it because my husband LOVES meatloaf so this would be up his alley.
    BTW, I made your chocolate oatmeal coconut cookies today and they are wonderful! Thank you for posting the recipes! =D
    Shandy@pastry heaven

  13. Emiline says:

    Really? Gelatin in meatloaf?

    The meatloaf does look good. I serve at a restaurant, and meatloaf is really popular. They do the glaze on the outside, instead of bacon.

    Hopefully your area will start improving, and getting some more gourmet items in. My area is hard to find some things, too. In the last few months, it seems to be getting better. We got pancetta! It’s $5.99 for a tiny package. 😮

  14. Tiffany says:

    My family lives in the NC mountains, and it IS so pretty up there…especially in the Fall. The Appalachians are a lot softer…more rounded I guess with age, than your mountains…but both are beautiful.

    As for meatloaf….I’ve never used meatloaf mix, although they do sell it here in the south. But veal…YUCK! The animal-rights person inside me can’t go there!! LOL!! I just use either all beef or all turkey. And my glaze is the same except I use lemon juice instead of vinegar.

  15. Polliwoggy says:

    Oh, how I can relate on so many levels! I live in Flagstaff, which is also snowy and small, and I can’t find any ingredients here. It’s very frustrating. Secondly, I’m forever trying to convince my picky husband that he WOULD like different foods if he just had them made in a different way than he’s used to having them. For example, he didn’t like mashed potatoes for years until I made them for him because his dad always puts pickle juice and bbq sauce in them! Thanks for sharing this post, it had me cracking up.

  16. sunita says:

    Deborah, you do live in the midst of natural beauty….and your meatloaf loks lovely…and I quite like the picture…something so natural about it 🙂

  17. Bellini Valli says:

    A thing I have discovered by blogging is just how small my culinary world can be. I can’t say that I have ever come across meat loaf mix in any of the grocers here either…but I did find ground lamb the other day…so maybe we are moving into this century…wink…wink..By the way I hope that the meatloaf was a hit. Can’t live without this comfort food once in a while!

  18. Peabody says:

    The brown sugar in the glaze sounds extra yummy.

  19. Kevin says:

    The meatloaf does sound tasty, especially with the bacon. 🙂 You have a great view of the mountains there.

  20. clumsy says:

    I’ve always thought the meatloaf mix thing is a bit overrated, since ground veal doesn’t have all the much taste… so I’m sure your meatloaf is great! I agree with you about the crust being so important too, mmm I love the crust.

    And your view is just. so. beautiful.

  21. theexperimentalgourmand says:

    Wow! That view is breathless. Believe it or not, even in NYC, veal is not always the easiest thing to find, either. A couple of the grocery stores (even one that is supposedly ‘gourmet’) doesn’t carry it. I am fortunate to have butcher in my neighborhood who does, but my most reliable source for my meat supplies is actually across town from me.

    Also, America’s Test Kitchen did some extensive tests on a meatloaf recipe. I haven’t tried their version as I don’t really like that dish, but maybe one day I’ll consider it.

  22. Kristen says:

    It certainly sounds yummy!
    As much as I hate winter, I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be to walk out the door and see the view you have!

  23. Tanya says:

    Ooooh. That looks fabulous. I’ve been craving meatloaf lately, too. I think I’ll use this recipe as soon as I can get a supply of meat.

  24. PheMom says:

    OK, here is what is really funny, I have felt exactly the same thing when struggling to find ingredients here. I have been able to find most everything I was looking for now though (including veal) and even banana leaves, but boy do I have to go into serious research mode!

    Anyway, my issue with meatloaf was there always being too high of a meat to caramelized glaze ratio.

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