I originally saw the idea for this recipe posted as one of those "overindulgence/heart attack dish" articles on line, thought the premise sounded good, and played with it until I got what I thought was a pretty good version. The bacon adds a wonderful note, and while it's good in the oven, it's really spectacular on the grill. Makes tremendous sandwiches the next day, too, if there's any left! It's become a big favorite in the meat loaf world for my family. —Kayb
slices thick-cut bacon
ground beef, or one each ground beef and ground pork
barbecue sauce of your choice, divided
bread or cracker crumbs (I use Rice Chex crumbs for a gluten free version)
Pour the heavy cream over the bread or cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cut up 4 strips of bacon into lardons. Fry until crisp, drain and reserve.
Using your hands in a large bowl, mix ground meat with eggs, seasonings, cracker crumbs and about 2 tbsp barbecue sauce.
Put a big sheet of heavy duty foil on the counter. Lay 12 strips of bacon, side by side, sides touching, on the foil. Put the ground meat on top of the bacon and pat it out with your hands to cover the bacon strips entirely. Be careful the bacon strips do not separate excessively; you want them touching or almost touching. It helps to form the meat into a loaf as long as the bacon rectangle is wide, and then push toward each end of the bacon strips.
Drizzle another 2-3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce over the surface of the meat. Sprinkle the fried bacon on top. Press lightly so it will adhere to the meat and not move around during the next step.
Using the foil to help, roll the meat up into a tight cylinder so that the bacon strips are wrapped around it. Center it on the foil, seam side down.
Build a fire on either end of your grill, or, if using a gas grill, turn the end burners on medium low heat. Use wood chips if you wish. Place foil with meat on it in between the heat sources.
Cook for 1 hour. Increase heat slightly, to medium, and cook for another 30 minutes, glazing every 10 minutes or so with reserved barbecue sauce. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 160.
Remove from grill, tent with foil, and allow to rest 30 minutes before slicing.
Potential variations on this include putting bratwurst or other link sausage in the center of the roll, or using Italian or other sausage in the ground meat mix. Be as fanciful as you wish. You can change the flavor profile by changing the spice mix from barbecue to some other flavors.
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!