So here I go…wrapping more things up in bacon. Yup…you’ve got my number by now. One might think that if I’m not drowning it in booze, I’m wrapping it in bacon! And this wonderful St. Patrick’s Day offering of Bacon Wrapped Guinness & Cheddar Meatloaf allows me to do both! That’s right, I’ve taken that old comfort food standard, meatloaf, and added some smooth, malty Guinness Stout and Irish cheddar into the mix and wrapped it all up in bacon.
I didn’t think meatloaf could get any better, but I was wrong! I must admit, I’ve had some dreadful, tired old dry meatloaf in the past. And serving meatloaf did go out of fashion for a while. Though recently I’ve noticed it has made a comeback. I’m happy to say that I’ve been seeing it featured on the menus of several hot and trendy restaurants. But I’m not nearly as happy to see it as my husband is. He loves meatloaf and once he spies it on a menu, you pretty much can guess what he will be dining on that evening.
So he was beyond happy when this amazing meatloaf meal showed up right on our own table. The beef and pork mixture is very tender, the earthy Guinness infused mushrooms are perfection and well…then there is the bacon. It is amazing! Not only does it infuse the meat with wonderful salty, bacon-y brilliance but it also serves to keep it very moist and juicy. No chance of dry meatloaf here! The original recipe called for a sweet Guinness-y glaze as well. I chose not to add it because we aren’t really into putting a sweet glaze onto our meatloaf. Sometimes even the standard ketchup is a bit too much for us. We don’t want one thing to interfere with the flavour of all of that meaty bacon-y goodness, so we left it out. But I know there are plenty of ya’ll out there that do have a sweet-tooth and would love to glaze it up, so I’ve included the recipe for it here. For us that glaze seemed a bit like gilding the lily!
Well folks, there you have it…beef and pork, wrapped in more pork and infused with Guinness. Served up with a big old helping of mashed potatoes and washed down with a pint or two…or so…You can’t go wrong with this Bacon Wrapped Guinness & Cheddar Meatloaf for your St. Patrick’s Day feast!
Bacon Wrapped Guinness & Cheddar Meatloaf
recipe adapted from: Galley Gourmet
yield: 8 servings
For the Glaze: (Glaze optional – I did not use it)
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) stout beer, such as Guinness extra stout
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons honey
For the Meatloaf
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces Portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 cup (8 ounces) stout beer, such as Guinness extra stout
- 4 ounces quality white bread (about 2 slices of white bread), roughly torn
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 extra large eggs
- 3 ounces Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces sliced bacon, about 12 strips
For the Glaze
In a medium saucepan, bring the stout, brown sugar and honey to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool; set half the mixture aside. Reserve remaining glaze for another use.
For the Meatloaf
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened and just beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Add stout and simmer briskly until almost dry, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until just warm.
In a shallow dish, soak the bread in the milk, tossing once, until soggy but not falling apart, about 5-7 minutes; set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, add beef, pork, and soaked bread and process until well-combined, about 10 (1-second) pulses. Transfer meat mixture to bowl with cooled onions/mushroom mixture. Add eggs, cheese, parsley, Worcestershire, salt and pepper; mix with hands until thoroughly combined.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer the meat mixture to the sheet and form into a 9×5-inch rectangular loaf. Drape the meatloaf with slightly overlapping strips of bacon, tucking the ends under the loaf. Brush the top of the meatloaf with half of the glaze (if you are using the glaze).
Bake until an instant read thermometer registers 160° F in the center of the meatloaf, about 45-50 minutes.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven. Place the oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element and preheat the broiler. Brush the remaining glaze over the meatloaf (if you are glazing) and broil until the bacon is browned and crisped, about 2-3 minutes, checking and rotating to make sure the glaze doesn’t scorch. Using two large spatulas, carefully transfer the meatloaf to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slices.