This is HANDS DOWN the best meatloaf I have ever had. Seriously. I have never been the biggest fan of meatloaf…the texture of the loaf and the whole dried ketchup crust thing always really bothered me. Especially the dried ketchup crust. But this…is…so…good. It’s juicy, it’s absolutely packed with flavor, it has a crisp texture on the outside from the sear at the end…it’s just perfect. And Seth went crazy for it, so it’s taste tester approved as well!
There is no way you won’t fall in love with this recipe. You’ll throw out your breadcrumbs and ketchup topping. What makes this meatloaf so delicious? First of all…it has bacon and cheddar cheese. Not much! We are still keeping this light. But enough to give the meatloaf an amazing flavor. The original name for this recipe was “Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf,” but when we decided to slice and sear it, I renamed the delicious hunk of meat because of its lack of tradition in the world of meatloaves. Second of all, it doesn’t have breadcrumbs. You may think this is strange, and you may think that meatloaf needs breadcrumbs…but you are wrong! I think the texture is so much better without breadcrumbs, and the meat turns out so much juicier. Honestly, I’m not sure why meatloaf ever had breadcrumbs to begin with…the meat stays together just as well without them. Third of all, this meatloaf isn’t just removed from the loaf pan and served. It is also sliced and seared. No one will ever argue that seared meat doesn’t taste better than non-seared meat. It just does. And that rule works here too. It really kicks this meatloaf up to the next level.
SO! Now that my two paragraph rant on the perfection of this meatloaf is over, I will explain how to make it!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cook four slices of bacon in a large saute pan.
Once your bacon is cooked through and crispy, set aside and let drain on a few layers of paper towel. Discard all of the bacon grease, and wipe down the pan with a few paper towels.
Step #1: Crumble bacon.
Step #2: Attempt not to snack on this as you finish the rest of your recipe and end up eating half a slice worth of crumbles anyway.
Now you need to prepare a basic mirepoix – onion, carrots, and celery. You will need two carrots, two stalks of celery, and half and onion. You will also need two cloves of garlic.
Finely dice your vegetables so there aren’t huge chunks in your meatloaf! Reserve the leafy tops of the celery for a garnish, they taste similar to parsley.
Add some olive oil to the pan you cooked your bacon in and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, throw in your veggies.
Once your vegetables are done, take them off the heat to cool for a few minutes while you prepare your meatloaf mixture. In a large bowl, add your chicken, pork, crumbled bacon, grated cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and cumin. Add your cooked vegetables to this mixture and combine with your hands.
Now add two eggs. You want to wait to add the eggs until now because if you add them in the first step, the vegetables might scramble them slightly. Once you mix the warm veggies into the cold meat, it makes everything cool enough for the eggs to be added.
Form a very small patty (less than a tablespoon) of the meatloaf mixture and sear in a pan until cooked through–this shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Taste the cooked patty and add any extra seasoning you think it needs, if any.
Now dump all of this into a loaf pan and bake in the oven for 1-1 1/2 hours!
You will know it’s done when a instant thermometer reads 165 degrees.
Once your meatloaf comes out of the oven, remove it from the loaf pan and slice it. You should have about seven slices of meatloaf.
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high to high heat.
Once your pan is hot, place the meatloaf slices inside and sear each side. It shouldn’t take more than a minute on each side if your pan is hot.
Once the meatloaf is done, you are ready to serve! I served this over a bed of mashed potatoes with chopped celery tops as a garnish, but it would be good with just about anything!
And there ya go…best meatloaf you will ever eat.
Here is the recipe:
- 4 strips of bacon
- ½ onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Cook your bacon slices until crispy
- Set aside to drain on a few layers of paper towels
- Crumble when cooled
- Meanwhile, finely dice your onion, carrots, celery, and garlic
- Reserve the leafy tops of the celery for a garnish. They taste similar to parsley
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat
- When the pan is hot, add your veggies and cook until they are softened and slightly brown-somewhere between 5-10 minutes
- Set aside to cool for a few minutes
- In a large bowl, add your chicken, pork, crumbled bacon, cheese, salt, pepper, cumin, and cooked vegetables
- Mix together with your hands until everything is combined
- Add two eggs
- Mix together again with your hands until everything is combined (we wait until this step to add the eggs because the warm veggies might have scrambled them. Now that the warm veggies have been mixed into cold meat, the temperature is cool enough not to cook the eggs on contact)
- Form a very small patty (less than a tablespoon) of the meatloaf mixture and sear in a saute pan until cooked through. This shouldn't take more than a minute or two
- Taste the cooked patty for seasoning, and add any salt and pepper you think the meatloaf may need, if any
- Add your meatloaf mixture to a loaf pan and place in the oven to cook for 1-1½ hours, or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 165 degrees
- Once the meatloaf is done, remove it from the loaf pan and slice it. You should have about 7 slices
- Heat a little olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high - high heat
- Once the oil is hot, add the meatloaf and sear on both sides (shouldn't take more than a minute per side if your pan is hot)
- Garnish with chopped celery tops (optional) and serve!