9-17: Ham-Wrapped Meat Loaf

A good friend from high school once had the genius idea to open a meatloaf based restaurant, based on his family’s famous meatloaf recipe. If he ever got the place off the ground, I’d expect he’d add a dish similar to 9-17: Ham-Wrapped Meat Loaf to his menu. I think it’d be weird to have a fast casual restaurant that is based around meatloaf. What would you call it? Meat Loaf Market? Meatloaf-ology?

Wrapping a meatloaf in bacon or ham is a tried and true way to make any ordinary blob of ground meat taste more interesting.

I tried making this recipe as individual portions of meatloaf as part of a weekly lunch time meal prep. I say “tried” because barely any of these were eaten because the portion wasn’t right for a lunchtime meal. Too big of a meatloaf = needing a nap after lunch.

Here’s the ingredients with the following substitutions: Milk and sour cream for half and half and spicy jalapeño bacon slices for smoked ham. I completely forgot about the tomato slices part of this recipe and I think tomatoes were not in season when I cooked this dish.

Chop, chop, chop! I doubled the ingredients in this recipe because of the amount of ground meat I had on hand so I used the whole onion.

Salt, pepper, and ground allspice go in the bowl to add some flavor to the meatloaf mix.

Breadcrumbs and dairy are common ingredients to add to a meatloaf to help bind the ground meat together. I mixed panko breadcrumbs with lactose-free milk and sour cream to create a thick, bread-y paste to hold everything together.

A mixture of ground beef and ground pork is common for a meatloaf so I used a pound of each in this dish.

It’s time to add the binders to the ground meat and onion mixture. Add the dairy-soaked breadcrumbs, cornstarch, and two eggs. Mix it all up to form the meatloaf mixture. I chose to mold the mix into small individual servings, but my bacon could have stretched farther if I used the mix to make a standard meatloaf.

I got a yield of 12 mini meatloaves. Here’s 6 on the tray just before I added the bacon.

Apply the bacon strips to the mini loaves and bake them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, I turned the broiler on to char the bacon and add some crust to the meatloaf patties.

Voila! A single serving meatloaf and some mashed cauliflower-and-potatoes make for a biiiiig lunch. If anything, these would have been better for dinner.

And now for some unsolicited nutritional advice. I made the meatloaf to the size of the receptacle in the lunch prep containers we purchased. In retrospect, I should have made the meatloaf to fit in the size of the of the other half of the container and served the mashed cauliflower-and-potatoes and another kind of vegetable in the other side.  When we tried to eat these for lunch, we ended up with a major case of the itis.