My mom made meatloaf occasionally while I was growing up. I always thought it was a tasty meal, and especially loved the ketchup sauce she put on top. Whatever her recipe was, I remember that it had oatmeal in it. I thought that was an unusual ingredient to put with hamburger, but I was not a complainer. Seriously, I ate about everything (except breakfast, which I didn't care for until I was considerably older).
My family, on the other hand, has NOT been meatloaf fans of any sort. I have tried at least a half-dozen recipes over the years, and finally resigned myself to the idea that I may not make another meatloaf until every last child has left my nest. (I'm not even sure if Bill is a fan.) Regardless, it is a dish I have craved on occasion, and, after perusing my long-ago-purchased-but-never-used Pioneer Woman cookbook, decided that I simply must try again.
May I just say, "Meatloaf success."
I think Mar and Shi found it palatable, and even finished off their entire servings. That is saying a boatload. Bill called it a "gourmet meal." (I know... meatloaf... gourmet? But I'll take it! I think the "Bacon-Wrapped" part is what got him.)
You can find the original recipe here, but I made a few teeny tiny changes, so I'll go ahead and post my updated recipe. And my very own unprofessional pictures.
Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf (more descriptive than plain ol' "Meatloaf" I think)
1 cup milk
6 bread slices (food process until crumbs - which I didn't do and didn't care for visible bread chunks in my finished meatloaf)
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (don't use Parmesan/Romano blend; plain ol' Parmesan is the best. Kraft is probably just dandy.)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley (I didn't have it, and Walmart didn't have it, so I skipped it, which was probably best so the kids didn't see green things.)
4 eggs, beaten
8 slices bacon (I used a thick-cut because that's what I had, I would recommend regular thin slices to get them crispier.)
Ketchup Sauce (YUM) - btw, I halved the sauce recipe*
1-1/2 cups ketchup
6 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
Dash or two of hot sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, pour the milk over the bread crumbs and allow to soak for several minutes. Add the ground beef, Parmesan cheese, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, and parsley (if using). Pour in beaten eggs. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form into a loaf on a broiler pan lined with foil (best tip ever!)
*NOTE: This makes quite a large meatloaf, and since my family is ever-decreasing in size, I made TWO loaves from a single recipe, wrapped up one in Saran and foil, and popped that baby in the freezer for a rainy day.
Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking the ends underneath the meatloaf.
For the Ketchup Sauce, put all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. I used a little more than a dash or two of hot sauce - like a glug or two - and thought it had the perfect amount of heat. By glug I mean a forceful shake of the bottle while it's turned completely upside down. Not a glug like from a gallon of milk. Just to be clear.
Pour 1/3 of the Ketchup Sauce over the meatloaf and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, then spread on another 1/3 of the sauce. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. NOTE: I thought that since I was only cooking half of the meatloaf that it wouldn't require as much time. I kept checking it and found that it took pretty much the full time. I even meat-thermometered it, just to make sure it was good and done.
Serve with the remaining Ketchup Sauce. And a side of mashed potatoes. Real or instant, we're not picky here.