My Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

It's funny how some things make you happy. I find bacon is just one of those things. I was lucky enough to participate in judging the Ontario Independent Meat Processors competition a couple of weeks ago and bacon was one of my categories, along with 2 other judges. In fact that is how I started my morning! I was truly excited to taste over a dozen different side bacons. Each bite was unique to the processor. The day continued on to taste deli roast beef and also premium meats as well. There was a room full of judges and we were grouped to taste different meats throughout the day. Some amazing stuff is produced right in our backyards here in Ontario, we truly are lucky! Now that said none of the judges found out the winners of any of the categories because they will be announced at a Gala Event in March-how exciting!
So that simply inspired me to use my bacon a little differently than enjoying it for breakfast! I decided to make my son's favourite meal, meatloaf and one of his favourite meats-bacon and put them together. When I told him in my excited voice that I put his two favourites together and that it would be amazing, he just looked at me and said "why didn't you just make regular meatloaf?"
He was pleasantly surprised to taste the meatloaf and although the bacon flavour simply added a bit of smokiness and a delicious crisp texture to the meatloaf. I think we were all happy to share this meal with mashed potatoes and peas. Truly a nice warm meal for a weeknight if you have the time to put into it. But if not, make it on the weekend and warm it up for another night or enjoy it in a sandwich for something truly unique and very tasty!
I hope you enjoy the recipe. I know I'll be making it again.

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
This recipe really should serve 8, it served 5 of us I'd like to say, but really only 3 of us ate it:) Okay there was a few slices for leftovers.

2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
1 leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fresh ground black pepper
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup (75 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup (75 mL) milk
1/3 cup (75 mL) ketchup
1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
1 lb (500 g) each ground veal and ground pork
10 slices side bacon

In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook leek, garlic, thyme and pepper, stirring for about 8 minutes or until softened. Scrape into large bowl; let cool slightly.
Stir in eggs until combined. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, milk, ketchup and Worcestershire and stir until well combined. Add veal and pork and using hands mix well until thoroughly combined.
On parchment paper lined baking sheet shape mixture into 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf. Lay bacon slices on a diagonal across the meatloaf, trimming strips as necessary to cover the top and sides completely. Bake in 375 F (190 C) oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in centre reaches 160 F (70 C). Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing into about 1 inch (2.5 cm) slices.

Makes 8 servings.


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