Everyone has their favorite meatloaf recipe. It’s one of those classic American comfort foods that doesn’t photograph particularly well, but definitely deserves a place in a food blog. Every family adds their own special touch, like this Asian Meatloaf with a Sweet & Spicy Glaze that Dustin and I came up with last year, inspired by our time in Japan. There are so many possible combinations of ground meats, add-ins, and glazes that this Create Your Own Meatloaf Tool on Fine Cooking’s website is pretty awesome if you’re looking for inspiration on how to add a twist to this comfort food classic.
Instead of the usual corned beef & cabbage this year, we ate this delicious meatloaf that was infused with Irish cheddar and Stout, and then wrapped in bacon. It was a little more time consuming than we thought it would be, but because it was a holiday, we felt it was worth the effort. Instead of beef & veal, we used a combination of beef & lamb (a nod to another comfort food favorite, lamb and Guinness stew). We also formed two smaller meatloaves, and baked them side by side, instead of one large one that the recipe suggests.
Stout & Cheddar Meatloaf
(Slightly adapted from Fine Cooking)
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1/2 cup small-diced celery
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup stout beer, such as Guinness (we used a local Stout called Dark Knight from Santa Cruz Ale Works)
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
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground lamb
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Irish White Cheddar (or regular domestic cheddar)
1/4 cup dried mushrooms, re-hydrated in hot water and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
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, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the stout, and simmer briskly, until almost dry, 4 to 5 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 vegetable mixture.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
- Add the beef, lamb and eggs to the onion mixture. Scatter the Cheddar, re-hydrated mushrooms, and parsley 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.
- Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment. Form 2 rectangular blocks (it will become loaf-shaped as it cooks) with the meatloaf mixture and place side by side on the pan. Finish by draping each one with slightly overlapping strips of bacon, tucking the ends under the loaves.
- 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.
While we were busy making the meatloaf, Levi was busy with his new hobby, opening kitchen drawers 🙂