Sitting at the dining room table last night, the three of us took our first bites of dinner at the exact same moment. The next moment was in sync as well. We all dropped our forks, raised our eyebrows and just stared at each other. Then, a harmonious, "Woah!" Smiles, then we all agreed this was the best meatloaf any of us had ever tasted. Ever. No more words were said until the meatloaf was gone.
A couple of days ago, my son demanded it. Knowing that he'd compare anything I made to my mom's famous meatloaf, it was a huge task to impress him. So I brought out the big guns, bacon. I got this idea from my former boss in Lexington, Virginia. He made a bacon-wrapped meatloaf once and it was quite a spectacle. I've been wanting to make one ever since he told me about it. Anyway, every girl knows that bacon is the way to a man's heart. Even if for a 5-year-old.
This meatloaf is packed with vegetables. In fact, I think its a 50/50 split with the meat! It's sort of a one-pot meal. Meatloaf is a fantastic vessel for hiding vegetables for picky eaters. My son doesn't really have a problem eating veggies anymore, but I think I owe his transition being sneaky with things like smoothies, meatballs and meatloaf.
What makes this meatloaf so special is that it does not use tomato sauce. Nor does it use almond flour as a binder, like most paleo meatloaves. Without nightshades and nuts, this meatloaf is pretty autoimmune friendly. You could even omit the eggs if you needed to!
Skirting the nut flour means you have to get rid of some of the juices that accumulate mid-baking. The almond flour would have normally absorbed them, but that's okay. Just know that the juices are normal and you just have to pour them out before you broil the bacon.
Paleo Bacon Meatloaf
3/4 pound grassfed ground beef
3/4 pound pastured ground pork
1 small zucchini, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon flaxmeal
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4-5 slices bacon
1 Tablespoon Worchestershire
Preheat your oven to 350º. Stir together the zucchini, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, flax meal, parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and stir into the vegetables. Using your hands, gently mix in the pork and beef. Do not overwork the meat. Spread the mixture evenly into a loaf pan. Lay 4-5 bacon slices lengthwise over the meatloaf. Use your spatula to tuck the ends down into the side of the pan. Now sprinkle the top of the bacon with the Worchestershire sauce.
Bake at 350º for 55 minutes. Carefully remove the meatloaf from the oven. Go over to the sink or trash can and scrape out all the gross juice (about 1/2 cup) that has accumulated on top of the meatloaf. It looks like puke-- get rid of it. Now put the whole thing back into the oven and crank up the broiler. Broil the meatloaf until the bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and blot with a couple of paper towels.
Remove meatloaf from the pan and slice to serve.
Feel good song of the day: Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons