On the Grill: Meatloaf with a Bacon Toupee

By PAUL SIDORIAK

The concept of meatloaf is a little foreign to me.  Maybe it needs to be re-branded and named something like “baked beef,”“cattle cake” or “ranch roast.”  But the name meatloaf just sounds too pedestrian, rushed, and mechanical to me.  The name did not stop me from attempting to make it on the grill though.

A recipe for meatloaf is not hard to come by.  Do an Internet search for a meatloaf recipe and you are likely to get about 2.8 million options in less than a quarter of a second.   Ask about any humble homemaker and she can fire off her famous meatloaf recipe just as fast.

They all consist of roughly the same ingredients. Two or three kinds of meat, bread crumbs, eggs, and spices are often the foundation of an acclaimed meatloaf.  It’s the custom extra ingredients that upgrade a good meatloaf to remarkable.

When I am creating a meal, I’ll generally have the television on for a little background noise.  For some reason, I often pop on mafia movies and, unfortunately, can recite a lot of the dialogue while I am slicing and dicing.  For this meatloaf, I needed that something special to separate it from all the others and was looking for inspiration.  As I pondered, there was a scene on from the movie Goodfellas that gave me some inspiration.  One of the characters owed the wise guys some money and it just so happened that he owned a wig store.  A few seconds later, my Meatloaf with a Bacon Toupee was born.

Meatloaf:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 squirt Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup pureed onion
  • 1/2 cup pureed red bell pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

Reserve breadcrumbs.  Add all remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Combine by hand, making sure that the ground pork and ground beef are evenly incorporated with as few clumps as possible.  Mix should be a little moist from the wet ingredients.  Add breadcrumbs and incorporate to firm up mixture so it maintains shape.  Form into desired shape.

Bacon Toupee:

  • 4 slices bacon (raw) diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced

Pulse all ingredients in a mini food processor or similar device until it forms a spreadable paste.  Liberally schmear on top of meatloaf.

It roasted at about 350 degrees, raised on bricks, until the core temperature was 165 and the juices ran clear.  I also stuffed my meatloaf with some sautéed mushrooms and corn, which I thought would be fun additions.

Grilling added a rich, deep flavor to every bite.  Even though it was cooked raised, and off of the coals, the bottom of the meatloaf developed a wonderful crunchy crust that was rich with flavor.  On top, the bacon toupee was a nice addition to the dish, but next time I would take extra care to ensure it crisps up like the bottom.

It is fun to have a new dinner option in my quiver.  If anyone ends up asking me for my meatloaf recipe, I am now happy to say that I have it covered.

 

Bacon schmear topping the meatloaf
Bacon schmear toppin...
Grilling on a perforated pan
Grilling on a perfor...
Bacon Toupee looking handsome on Mr Meatloaf
Bacon Toupee looking...
Raised off the coals
Raised off the coals
Resting quietly before slicing
Resting quietly befo...
Ready for plating
Ready for plating
A new favorite
A new favorite

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Check out Paul’s other tasty grilling recipes for summer (or any season!) in his blog archive.

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Paul Sidoriak grills it up on the Big Green Egg.

Paul moved to Montana in 1996 with about a dozen friends from Lyndon State College in Vermont. He is still reluctantly paying his student loans and has carved out a career working as a supplier representative for various food and beverage products.

Paul enjoys grilling after a day on the water or an afternoon in the garden, where he has been known to grow heirloom tomatoes and peppers out of spite. Often cooking for extended family and friends, he takes a whimsical approach to cooking simple, seasonal dishes, while not taking it too seriously.

Paul does all of his grilling on the Big Green Egg Grill, available in Missoula at the Axmen.

You can read more of Paul’s grilling recipes at his blog site, Montana Mise en Place.