- 1/4 cup bottled barbecue sauce, plus extra for serving
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 17 square or 19 round saltines, crushed (2/3 cup)
- 4 slices coarsely chopped bacon, plus 8 whole slices
- 1 onion, chopped coarse
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds 90 percent lean ground beef
Adapted from cookscountry.com
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set wire rack in sheet. Whisk barbecue sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire, and mustard together in bowl; set aside glaze.
2. Process saltines in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds; transfer to large bowl. Pulse chopped bacon and onion in now-empty processor until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses. Transfer bacon mixture to 10-inch nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside off heat.
3. Add milk, eggs and yolk, parsley, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons glaze to saltines and mash with fork until chunky paste forms. Stir in bacon mixture until combined. Add beef and knead with your hands until combined.
4. Lightly spray 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Line pan with large sheet of plastic wrap, with extra plastic hanging over edges of pan. Push plastic into corners and up sides of pan. Line pan crosswise with remaining 8 bacon slices, overlapping them slightly and letting excess hang over edges of pan (you should have at least 1/2 inch of overhanging bacon). Brush bacon with 3 tablespoons glaze. Transfer meatloaf mixture to bacon-lined pan and press mixture firmly into pan. Fold bacon slices over mixture.
5. Using metal skewer or tip of paring knife, poke 15 holes in one 14 by 3-inch piece of foil. Center foil rectangle on top of meatloaf. Carefully flip meatloaf onto wire rack so foil is on bottom and bacon is on top. Gripping plastic, gently lift and remove pan from meatloaf. Discard plastic. Gently press meatloaf into 9 by 5-inch rectangle.
6. Bake until bacon is browned and meatloaf registers 150 degrees, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and heat broiler. Brush top and sides of meatloaf with remaining 2 tablespoons glaze. Broil meatloaf until glaze begins to char and meatloaf registers 160 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes. Using foil as sling, transfer meatloaf to carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve, passing extra barbecue sauce.
Test Kitchen Technique: That’s a Wrap
We found that using a loaf pan to wrap our meatloaf in bacon gave us the most consistent results with the least amount of work.
1. After spraying the pan with vegetable oil, line it with plastic wrap and eight slices of bacon. Brush the bacon with glaze.
2. Next, we press the meatloaf mixture into the pan, fold the bacon ends over the loaf, and top it with perforated foil.
3. Finally, invert the foil-topped loaf, bacon and all, onto a wire rack set in a baking sheet, remove the plastic, press the meatloaf into shape, and bake.