What better way to warm up than that old stand by comfort food, meat loaf? And of course what better way to make a meat loaf than by adding bacon, cheese, and smoke? The nice thing about doing mini meat loaves is you can customize them to taste. Once we had the wife’s done we added some habaneros for a little heat to my son’s and mine.
Yeild: 3 large “mini” meat loaves. You can increase the meat in 1/2 lb increments per serving. If you do I recommend also increasing the cheese and bacon by about 1/4 lb increments. But you can never have too much bacon.
What to expect:
This will be a “loose” meat loaf with a nice full smokey flavor and the cheese will bring an ever so slight creaminess. Breaking away from the traditional ketchup topping and going with BBQ sauce only made sense.
What you’ll need:
1lb bacon cooked soft and coarsely chopped
1lb smoked cheddar cheese. !/2 lb shredded and 1/2 lb slices
1 cup red wine (optional)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 c. fresh Italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup or so of your favorite BBQ sauce
What you’re going to do:
Mix all your ingredients together in a large bowl reserving the 1/2lb smoked cheddar cheese slices for latter.
Line a mini loaf pan with plastic wrap.
Fill loaf pan about 1/2 way with meat loaf mixture.
Add layer of the sliced cheddar cheese that you reserved, leaving 1/4 inch around all sides.
Top with another layer of the meat loaf mixture. Invert on to a baking sheet.
Now simply place on a grill set up for indirect cooking or on a smoker, with your choice of smoking wood, and cook at 250f for about an hour. We did learn that it’s much easier to remove the meat loaves if you place the them running with the grates (see the one on the right).
Once your you reach an internal temperature of 165f add a nice glaze of BBQ sauce and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
All that’s left to do is let them stand about 10 minutes, enjoy, and watch yet another @#$%^@$% snow fall.