Ok people, for most of us it is REALLY FREAKING COLD out there. Way below freezing temperatures, snow, ice and wind are the norm. Brr. You know what makes all of that feel better? Meatloaf. Ok, not only meatloaf, things like stew, chili and mac and cheese are other options. But frankly, meatloaf is king.
Warm and comforting, straight out of the old school food manual, meatloaf does a body good. Ok, it isn’t the healthiest thing in the world. So kill me. I did my best to lighten this recipe up by using 90% lean ground sirloin. Then I added some bacon and cheese. Oops. All things in moderation I suppose.
I used this recipe from epicurious as my base, but made a few changes. I have to say, this hit the spot. The smoked cheddar and bacon add richness and a smoky backdrop and the jalapeno contributes some spice. The perfect way to warm up a freezing cold night. Oh, and some hot cocoa for dessert helps too.
Meatloaf with Smoked Cheddar, Bacon and Jalapeno
1.5 lbs. ground beef (I used 90% lean)
About 4 slices of good bacon, cut into 3/4″ inch strips
2 eggs, beaten
1 minced jalapeno (I kept in the seeds and ribs, remove if you prefer less spice)
1/4 of a large onion or 1/2 of a small one
1/4 bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup cubed smoked cheddar
1.) Preheat oven to 325°.
2.) Partially cook the bacon in a small pan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until it is just starting to crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and let it drain on some paper towels.
3.) Transfer the bacon to a large mixing bowl and add in all the other ingredients. Mix until just combined (you don’t want to over mix the meat to make it tough).
4.) Put the mixture into a standard 8-inch loaf pan and bake. At 45 minutes check it and if the internal temperature 150° you’re done. If not, put it back in for up to 1 hour.
5.) Allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.