Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

From as far back as I can remember we always had some sort of comfort food growing up. Salisbury Steak, Stuffed Bell Peppers, Stuffed Cabbage, all that good home cooking. One of the meals that was pretty common around our house was the meat loaf. I always remember the meatloaf, such a tasty slice of ground beef with something new inside every time. There would always be some sort of tangy sweet coating around the outside and the brown gravy, who can resist mash potatoes and brown gravy, makes my stomach grown just thinking about it. So in honor of my mom, here is my version of the all time American classic the meatloaf.

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What you will need:Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Ready To Eat

1 cup Milk – (Whole or 2% works fine)
6 slices Sourdough or White Bread
(I use the Rosemary & Olive Oil and slice it myself)
2 lbs. Ground Beef – (you can use 1 beef and 1 turkey if you like)
1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 tsp. Cajon seasoning or Seasoning salt
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
3 Eggs
8 slices Thin Bacon (don’t use thick cut, it won’t get crisp)

Sauce:
1-1/2 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Dry Mustard
Juice of one lemonMeatloaf Mix
Tabasco To Taste

Preheat oven to Broil or your highest oven setting, (yes broil, we will turn it down to 350° so don’t get excited)

Line a oblong pan with foil, this helps with the clean up.

Prepare the Meatloaf:
Place the slices of bread in an oblong or square pan or large bowl and pour the milk over them. Allow it to soak in for several minutes; you may need to turn the bread over depending on how dense your bread is.

In a large mixing bowl add the ground meat, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoning, salt, black pepper, and parsley. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Try not to over mix. Form the mixture into a loaf shape and place on the foil lined pan.

Lay bacon slices over the top (side to side), you can either tuck excess underneath the meatloaf, or trim it off. (I trim it off)Bacon Wrappped Meatloaf Ready To Cook

Now place the meatloaf in the hot oven, middle rack. This won’t take but a few minutes, just long enough to get some crispness on the bacon. 5 to 6 minutes. While the bacon is getting crisp, make the sauce.

Making the Sauce:

Add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together.

Your bacon has started to crisp, turn the oven down to 350°, and pour 1/3 of the sauce mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.

Continue to bake for 30 minutes, and then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15- 20 minutes.

Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

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Chicken Fried Steak With Sausage Gravy

We spent last Saturday afternoon at a street fair in Fountain Hills AZ. It was wonderful time; the streets were filled with food vendors, artists and other miscellaneous Chicken Fried Steakbooths with interesting items for sale, along with a beer garden or two. We picked up a few things here and there – mainly some salsa and spices, most of these small vendors use fresh ingredients and have pretty good product. There were two companies I really liked and brought home some items from both their shops, Natura Spice Company out of Scottsdale AZ and Starlight Herb and Spice Company out of Idaho. Both have great spices and I would recommend giving them a try if you every get the opportunity.

So the reason I bring up spices is because of the number one problem I find with most foods when we eat out, and that is the lack of spices. One of the vendors there had what they were calling fresh Alaskan salmon; honestly I was kind of pumped to give it a try, especially when I saw the Salmon Chowder. We split a bowl and it had large chunks of salmon in it with some other good flavors, but it was lacking the basic seasoning like salt and pepper that would have made that dish so much better.

If there is one thing that I have learned from my brother, the Executive Chef, or the countless hours of food network, it’s always taste your food and add those basic spices like salt and pepper.

This dish is one of my all-time favorites for both breakfast and dinner, but if you don’t season it or the gravy properly – you get just a bland meal.

Seasoned Flour

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What you will need:

  • 2 Cubed steaks pounded thin
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour (seasoned)
  • 2 Eggs beaten (seasoned with S&P)
  • Frying Oil (peanut or other high temp oil)Seasoned Chicken Fried Steak
  • Green onion or flat leaf parsley for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper

Seasoned Flour

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. saltFrying Chicken Fried Steak
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • ¼ tbsp. cayenne or some red pepper flakes

Prep

In a shallow frying pan heat up about 2 inches of the frying oil over medium to medium high heat. While the oil is heating up, take your cube steak and pass if through the flour, then egg then flour mixture. You will want to repeat this process for as many steaks as you are cooking.

Cook

Once the oil is nice and hot, but not smoking, you will want to carefully lay the steaks in the pan and shallow fry them. It should takChicken Fried Steake about 4-6 minutes per side depending on how hot your oil is. Keep an eye on them as they will burn quickly. Once both sides are browned place them on a paper towel to drain off the grease and serve with your favorite gravy. Nothings better than a good sausage gravy in my mind and you can find a good one at my county sausage gravy recipe.

Enjoy