Smoked Meatloaf

My meatloaf is never ordinary.  This was probably the best meatloaf I’ve made in quite some time.  I was going to be smoking some ribs and wanted to smoke a meat loaf as well.  Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures, but since I haven’t finished it, I may take a picture of a slice.  There are a few things that make this meatloaf unique.

  1. I had the butcher grind the meat.  Well, except the veal.  Ground meats are fine, but let’s be honest, picking out a piece of chuck and a piece of brisket are generally much better cuts than what winds up in the generic grind.  Especially at a super market.
  2. I smoked it. That’s right. Smoked it at 250 or so for about 3 hours.  Lots of cherry and hickory flavor added.
  3. It was made in a Bundt pan.   Smoked from 360 degrees x 2.  A 720 degree smoke.  Or an acid trip.  You decide.
  4. It was completely wrapped in bacon. Bacon makes everything better.  So does bacon grease.   Be honest, you save your bacon grease for frying and sautéing.  So do I.
  5. No bread crumbs. I used Oatmeal.

If you were expecting this to be easy, quick or otherwise mindless, feel free to leave now.  This was fun and time consuming.  And it was way better on day 2-8 when it was sliced and fried for sandwiches.  Let’s get started shall we? The Main Event:

  • 3lbs Ground Brisket
  • 3lbs ground Chuck
  • 3lb ground veal
  • 25lb thick slicked apple wood bacon

Vegetables to Sautee:

  • 1 sweet onion, small dice
  • 2 Anaheim chilies, seeded, to a small dice
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, unseeded, minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced fine

The Wet Ingredients:

  • 2T Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2T Good Mustard (I used Horseradish Mustard)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2T Cilantro Chimichurri

1+cup of Oatmeal 1t kosher salt 1t pepper In a large skillet, sweat the vegetables in your favorite lubricant. No, you cannot use Astroglide.  Yes, I use bacon fat.  You can use olive oil or butter or… whatever.  Don’t you dare use fucking margarine!  Ok that’s out of the way.  You want them well sweated, but not caramelized .Take the pan off the heat and let them cool. In a very large bowl, add in the 3 meats, the veggies and the wet ingredients.  I just crack the eggs in, look to make sure I’ve added everything I want, and then mix lustily with your hands.  Mixing timidly will not work.  You want everything well mixed, but not so that the meats look like paste.  At this point it is wet, meaty and all kinds of wrong.  You know what that means.  It is time for Oatmeal! Put in a cup of oatmeal, the salt and pepper and mix a bit less lustily.  When the oatmeal is incorporated, evaluate if the consistency is right.  It should have soaked up the liquids and hold together, but not be so dry that it will fall apart cooking.  Add more if needed.  Or don’t.  I think my last one took 1.5 cups. Or so.  And yes, it was Quaker. Now come the fun part.  Line a bunt pan with cling wrap.  Be generous.  Then lay a piece of bacon ACROSS the pan so it goes up the inside, over the bottom, up the side, and over hangs out the pan.  Then do the same thing on the opposite side of the pan.  Then you bisect the middle of the open space with another piece.  And repeat.  The goal was to cover the inside edge and most of the top, not the outside edge.  I used 16 pieces. You don’t want the bacon overlapping on the inside or else it won’t cook properly. Gently fill the bacon lined mold with the meat mixture, patting it in firmly to eliminate air pockets.  When it is all in, fold the excess bacon over the top, to create a bacon cover of yummy goodness. I cook my meatloaf in my smoker on a rack.  If you are cooking in the oven, I’d use a rack also.  Put the cake rack on top of the Bundt pan and turn everything over.  Presto!  The meatloaf, wrapped in bacon comes out!  Put the rack on a rimmed sheet tray for baking.   All that bacon grease has to go somewhere, right? Back for about 3hrs at 275.  I glazed the bacon with BBQ sauce 2 times in the last 30 minutes.   Cilantro Chimichurri Chimichurri is a parsley and garlic sauce of Argentinian origin.  It is traditionally served with steak.  I’ve started making mine to go with a bacon explosion.  Mine is spicier and bolder. 2 heads of cilantro ½ half head of flat leaf parsley 20 or cloves of garlic 3-5 jalapenos, unseeded, cut in quarters ¼ t red pepper flakes ¼ cup good olive oil Lemon Juice of ½- 1 lemon Salt and pepper to taste Put the parsley, cilantro, garlic, jalapenos, pepper flakes and half of the lemon juice in your food processor and turn it on.  Slowly pour  the olive oil in, till the sauce is fine, but still has texture.  Taste. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed and pulse a few times.  Retaste.  Adjust with more parsley or olive oil as your tastes lead you.  This works great in many dishes (like beans or rice).

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